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Defence Regulation 18B (Exdetainees)

Volume 414: debated on Thursday 11 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will establish special procedure which will enable persons formerly detained under Regulation 18b to appear in the High Court with a view to clearing their reputations after public examination of the evidence which occasioned their detention.

No, Sir. As has been frequently pointed out, these persons were not detained for contraventions of the law, and I do not think the examination of their cases by a court of law could produce any conclusion helpful either to the public, or to the individual detained under the Regulation.

Will the Home Secretary agree that although Regulation 18b has been revoked, a stigma remains, and injustice may have been done to a number of British subjects who have never been brought to trial? In the circumstances, is he prepared to leave it at that?

This matter was dealt with in a judgment by Lord Findlay after the last war where he pointed out—and these are his words—

"It seems obvious that no tribunal for investigating the question whether circumstances of.suspicion exist warranting some restraint, can be imagined less appropriate than a court of law."

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether, then, he proposes to provide those people who have been detained at any time with the real evidence on which they were detained?

Will the Home Secretary consult the present Lord Chief Justice as to whether it might not be possible to set up some procedure which would do this work?

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment.