Defence Regulation 18B

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Defence Regulation 18B, often referred to as simply 18B, was one of the Defence Regulations used by the British Government during the Second World War. The complete name for the rule was Regulation 18B of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939. It allowed the internment without trial of people suspected of being actively opposed to the ongoing war with Germany during the Second World War, anti-war and separatist elements (for example Irish republicans suspected of involvement in the Sabotage Campaign) or were otherwise suspected of ideological National Socialist-alligned sympathy (this included members of the British Union of Fascists and similar groups). The effect of 18B was to suspend the right of affected individuals to habeas corpus.

The Defence Regulations existed in draft form, constantly revised, throughout the years between the world wars. In early 1939 it was decided that since a war might break out without warning or without time to pass an Act of Parliament to bring in emergency regulations, the Regulations should be split into two codes. Code A would be needed immediately if war broke out and could be passed in peacetime, while Code B, containing more severe restrictions on civil liberties, would be brought in later. In order not to alert the public to the existence of Code B, Code A was simply numbered consecutively. Defence Regulation 18 concerned restrictions on movement of aircraft. It was originally intended that Code B would be imposed by an Order in Council, with retrospective indemnity being granted by an Act of Parliament should anyone dispute the actions of the authorities.

On 24 August 1939, after tensions rose over Poland, the House of Commons was recalled from its summer recess to pass the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, which gave authority to implement the Defence Regulations. Code A was brought into effect that day and Code B followed on 1 September. Enemy aliens were detained using powers under the Royal Prerogative, while 18B was used mainly for British nationals.

A large Jewish influence regarding the imprisonment has been stated.[1]

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References

  1. Dunkirk Backstory: Jewish Traitors, Communist Spies, and the Internment of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2017/08/06/dunkirk-backstory-jewish-traitors-communist-spies-and-the-internment-of-oswald-mosleys-blackshirts
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