Catalogue description Home Office: Defence Regulation 18B, Advisory Committee Papers

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Details of HO 283
Reference: HO 283
Title: Home Office: Defence Regulation 18B, Advisory Committee Papers

Papers of the Advisory Committee on Defence Regulation 18B, comprising mainly transcripts of its hearings of individual cases of detainees. These concern Sir Oswald Mosley's appeal against his detention during the Second World War and include papers of Norman Birkett, KC, concerning the British Union of Fascists.

Date: 1935-1945

Each case is cross-referred to the related piece in series HO 45 containing background information, police and security service reports and the reasons for detention.

Related material:

Other Home Office papers relating to detention and internment during the Second World War can be found in:

The majority of papers relating to the setting up of the Committee, its policy and procedures can be found under the subject heading 'War' in series HO 45

HO 144

HO 213

HO 214

and HO 215

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Advisory Committee on Defence Regulation 18B, 1939-1945

Physical description: 75 file(s)
Access conditions: Available in microform only unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

Defence regulation 18B was introduced by the Defence (General) Regulations 1939 (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order SR&O 1939/978 issued under the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939. Order 1939/978 was superseded by the Defence (General) Regulations 1939 (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order SR&O 1939/1681. Regulation 18B empowered the Secretary of State to detain any person whom he had reasonable cause to believe to be 'of hostile origin or association or to have been recently concerned in acts prejudicial to the public safety or defence of the realm', provided that any such person was given the opportunity to make representations to an advisory committee appointed by the Secretary of State.

Regulation 18B applied equally to British and foreign nationals but in practice it came to be used almost exclusively for the detention of British subjects (or persons of dual nationality). Nationals of friendly or neutral countries considered dangerous or disreputable could be detained under Article 12(5A) of the Aliens Order 1920 (as amended by the Aliens Order 1940) and enemy aliens were simply interned under the Royal Prerogative.

The Advisory Committee was appointed by the Secretary of State on 14 September 1939 under the Chairmanship of Sir Walter Monckton KC and with G P Churchill as Secretary. The first meeting, to decide on questions of principle, was held on 21 September 1939 and the first appeals were heard on 25 September 1939. Monckton was succeeded as Chairman of the Committee on 13 October 1939 by Norman Birkett KC who continued to serve as Chairman until regulation 18B was revoked on 9 May 1945, and the Committee came to an end.

As the number of persons being detained increased, the Advisory Committee formed separate panels, each with its own Chairman, to deal with the increased workload. There was also a separate Scottish Advisory Committee, under the Chairmanship of Lord Alness and subsequently of Lord Jamieson, for the examination of cases north or the border and a Scottish (Italian) Committee, under the Chairmanship of J L Clyde KC, for the examination of the cases of British-Italian dual nationals resident in Scotland at the time of their detention

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