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In the Highest Degree OdiousDetention without Trial in Wartime Britain$
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A. W. Brian Simpson

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198259497

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.001.0001

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The Great Incarceration Begins

The Great Incarceration Begins

Chapter:
(p.172) 9 The Great Incarceration Begins
Source:
In the Highest Degree Odious
Author(s):

A. W. Brian Simpson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.003.0009

On May 22, Parliament passed the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, which formally conferred on the executive the powers appropriate to a totalitarian state at war; it could now, by regulation, ‘make provision for requiring persons to place themselves, their services, and their property at the disposal of His Majesty as appears to him to be necessary or expedient’. That evening, the Privy Council passed the new Regulation 18B (1A), to be enforced on May 23 as a secret law, for it had not then been published. Its text formed a concise ‘Statement of the Case’ against the British Union (BU); though Sir John Anderson in the House of Commons on May 23 referred to organisations in the plural, the party was to be its only victim; it was not used against the Right Club, the Communist Party of Great Britain, or any other group. Many members of the BU thought that it was the peace campaign which led to their executive detention. Sir Oswald Mosley himself was arrested on May 23, followed by more arrests.

Keywords:   Emergency Powers Act, totalitarian state, Regulation 18B, British Union, Oswald Mosley, executive detention, Communist Party

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