The internment of ‘enemy aliens’
in A matter of intelligence
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The best example of disagreement between MI5 and Home Office was the question of the internment of ‘enemy aliens’. This chapter traces the role of MI5 in the policy of mass internment: a role which has never before been considered or evaluated. Drawing on MI5's own records, it is shown that MI5 advocated mass internment, even before the outbreak of war and, when it was not introduced, lobbied hard for the internment of prominent Communists like Jürgen Kuczynski and Eva Kolmer. It greeted the eventual introduction of mass internment in May/June 1940 with great enthusiasm and then fought a determined rear-guard action against the release of internees from August 1940 onwards. The chapter effectively illustrates the extent and limitations of the powers of the Security Service.

A matter of intelligence

MI5 and the surveillance of anti-Nazi refugees, 1933–50



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