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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 Commons Revolt

The Commons Revolt

Chapter:
(p.51) 4 The Commons Revolt
Source:
In the Highest Degree Odious
Author(s):

A. W. Brian Simpson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.003.0004

The Home Office division concerned with making detention orders was G2, under Sir Ernest Holderness. Enemy aliens were the chief concern. A few belonged to the Auslands Organisation, the overseas organisation of the Nazi Party, or were associated with such organisations as the German Labour Front. For the 19,000 or so resident Italians there was the Fascio, which, along with the Auslands Organisation, was viewed with suspicion by Military Intelligence Section 5. There were a number of German agents in Britain in the late 1930s, though by the time the war came the active numbers were not in double figures. Some Welsh Nationalists may have been approached in the hope that they would be prepared to assist Germany in return for independence, though it is hard to believe that they could have been gullible enough to take this seriously. Code B was laid before Parliament on September 5, 1939. Publication triggered protests in the House of Commons, probably reinforcing the Home Office's reluctance to employ the power of executive detention freely.

Keywords:   Britain, executive detention, Home Office, enemy aliens, Ernest Holderness, House of Commons, Code B, Military Intelligence Section 5, Auslands Organisation, Germany

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