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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 Integrity of the Advisory Committee

The Integrity of the Advisory Committee

Chapter:
(p.274) 13 The Integrity of the Advisory Committee
Source:
In the Highest Degree Odious
Author(s):

A. W. Brian Simpson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.003.0013

The threat to the integrity of Norman Birkett's committee stemmed from the War Cabinet decision of May 22. Until then the committee evaluated the threat to security posed by individuals; there had to be a case against each person, and each recommendation was independent of what was recommended for other detainees. After May 22 all this changed; the War Cabinet had decided that the fascists were potentially dangerous, and the British Union (BU) was to be crippled. There could be no question of the advisory committee going against this and recommending the release of Sir Oswald Mosley and his principal followers, quite irrespective of what emerged in hearings. Nor was the release of Capt. Maule Ramsay conceivable. The executive detention of the lesser BU activists also implemented a general policy decision, as did the arrest of the Anglo-Italian members of the Fascio. Where, after May, individuals were detained simply on the basis of their own actions or sympathies, the committee could proceed much as before; such cases, however, now formed a minority.

Keywords:   Norman Birkett, advisory committee, executive detention, British Union, War Cabinet, Oswald Mosley, Maule Ramsay, Fascio, detainees

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