In the Highest Degree Odious: Detention Without Trial in Wartime Britain

Overview


During the Second World War just under two thousand British citizens were detained without charge, trial, or term set, under Regulation 18B of the wartime Defence Regulations. Most of these detentions took place in the summer of 1940, soon after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister--when belief in the existence of a dangerous Fifth Column was widespread. At first, Churchill was an enthusiast for vigorous use of the powers of executive detention. He later came to lament the use of a power which was, in his ...
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1993-02-11 Hardcover Good Ex library copy.

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Overview


During the Second World War just under two thousand British citizens were detained without charge, trial, or term set, under Regulation 18B of the wartime Defence Regulations. Most of these detentions took place in the summer of 1940, soon after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister--when belief in the existence of a dangerous Fifth Column was widespread. At first, Churchill was an enthusiast for vigorous use of the powers of executive detention. He later came to lament the use of a power which was, in his words, "in the highest degree odious." Although many detainees were soon released, a considerable number remained in custody for prolonged periods--some for the duration of the war. This book provides the first comprehensive study of this Regulation and its history. Based on extensive use of primary sources, it describes the complex history of wartime executive detention: the purposes which it served, the administrative procedures and safeguards employed, the conflicts which surrounded its use, and the effect of detention upon the lives of individuals concerned, few of whom constituted any threat to national security. This study is the first to penetrate the veil of secrecy, telling the story of the most serious invasion of civil liberty which has occurred in Britain this century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198257752
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/11/1993
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1 The Invention of Executive Detention 1
2 Regulation 14B and its Progeny 15
3 Emergency Planning between the Wars 34
4 The Commons Revolt 51
5 Detention during the Phoney War 70
6 The Defeat of Liberalism 95
7 Fascism and the Fears of 1940 115
8 The British Fifth Column 146
9 The Great Incarceration Begins 172
10 It Might Have Happened to You! 200
11 The Experience of Detention 230
12 The Bureaucracy under Stress 258
13 The Integrity of the Advisory Committee 274
14 The Early Challenges in the Courts 297
15 The Courts in Confusion 316
16 The Web of Suspicion 333
17 The Leading Cases in Context 353
18 The Declining Years of Regulation 18B 381
19 Death and Post Mortem 408
App. I The Principal Texts 424
App. II Note on Sources 427
App. III Spy Trials 429
App. IV Tyler Kent and Anna Wolkoff 431
App. V Mosley's 'Reasons for Order' 434
Bibliography 436
Index 443
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