The Nameless War : Ch 11, 12 – Regulation 18B; Who Dares?

The Nameless War ~ Chapters 11 & 12


Regulation 18B; Who Dares?



by Captain Achibald. H. Maule Ramsay



by Captain Achibald. H. Maule Ramsay

Britons Publishing Company



Reprinted 1956, 1977. Other reprints in Australia and elsewhere.

Sometimes with abridgements







THE AUTHOR:  Captain Archibald Maule Ramsay was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and served with the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards in the First World War until he was severely wounded in 1916 — thereafter at Regimental H.Q. and the War Office and the British War Mission in Paris until the end of the war.


From 1920 he became a Member of H.M. Scottish Bodyguard.


In 1931 he was elected a Member of Parliament for Midlothian and Peeblesshire.


Arrested under Regulation 18b on the 23rd May, 1940, he was detained, without charge or trial, in a cell in Brixton Prison until the 26th September, 1944. On the following morning he resumed his seat in the House of Commons and remained there until the end of that Parliament in 1945.





























On the 23rd May, 1940, within the first fortnight of Mr Churchill’s Premiership, many hundreds of British subjects, a large proportion of them ex- Servicemen, were suddenly arrested and thrown into prison under Regulation 18B. For some days the entire press had been conducting a whirlwind campaign, in rising crescendo, against a supposed fifth column in this country, which was declared to be waiting to assist the Germans when they landed.


How untrue this campaign was, is proved by the fact that our most competent Intelligence Service never produced the flimsiest evidence of any such conspiracy, nor evidence of any plan or order relating to it, nor the complicity in such an undertaking of any single man arrested. Had such evidence been forthcoming, those implicated would undoubtedly have been charged and tried, and very properly so. But there was not one case of a man arrested under 18B being a British subject, who was so charged.

Four charges were actually framed against one lady, the wife of a distinguished Admiral, Mrs Nicholson. She was tried by a Judge and jury, and acquitted on all counts. This however, did not prevent her being arrested as she left the Law Courts, acquitted, and being thrown into Holloway Prison under Regulation 18B, where she remained for years.


Regulation 18B was originally introduced to deal with certain members of the I.R.A., who were committing a number of senseless minor outrages in London. Without this Regulation, no liege of His Majesty in the United Kingdom could be arrested and held in prison on suspicion. This practice had long been abandoned in this country, except in short periods of grave proven conspiracy, and on those occasions Habeas Corpus was always suspended.


18B enabled the medieval process of arrest and imprisonment on suspicion to be revived without the suspension of Habeas Corpus. It was, in fact, a return to the system of Lettres de Cachet, by which persons in pre-Revolutionary France were consigned to the Bastille. Here, it should be remembered, that those persons enjoyed full social intercourse with their families, and were allowed their own servants, plate, linen, food and drink whilst in prison; a very different treatment to that meted out to persons held under 18B, whose treatment for some time was little different from ordinary criminals, and, in fact, worse than any remand prisoner.


These I.R.A. outrages were so fatuous in themselves and so apparently meaningless, at a time when there were no sharp differences between this country and the Irish Free State, that I commenced making a number of inquiries. I was not surprised to discover at length, that special members of the I.R.A. had been enrolled for the committing of these outrages; and that they were practically all Communists. I had it on excellent authority that the Left Book Club of Dublin had been actively concerned in the matter; and finally the names of 22 of these men were put into my hands; and again I was informed on excellent authority that they were all Communists. Immediately on receipt of this information I put down a question to the Home Secretary, and offered to supply the necessary information if the matter were taken up. Nothing came of my representations. From these Communist-inspired outrages, however, there resulted Regulation 18B. Though the I.R.A. were pleaded as an excuse to the House for a Regulation, hardly any of their members were ever arrested under it; but in due course it was employed to arrest and hold for 4 or 5 years, uncharged, very many hundreds of British subjects, whose one common denominator was that they opposed the Jewish power over this country in general; and its exertion to thrust her into a war in purely Jewish interests in particular.


Now Communism is Jewish-controlled. If Marxist Jewry needed a device for securing the assent of parliament to a regulation like 18B, what simpler method could there be to achieve this object, without arousing suspicion as to the real ulterior motive, than arranging for a few communist members of the I.R.A. to plant bombs in the cloakrooms of London stations?


Everyone is supposed to be entitled to their opinion in this country; and, furthermore, where we cannot supply absolute proof, we can say with the Home Secretary, as I do here, that I have “reasonable cause to believe” that this is the real story behind Regulation 18B’s enactment.


When the Clause was first introduced into the House, the original wording laid it down quite clearly that the Home Secretary should have the power to detain persons of British birth and origin “If he was satisfied that” such detention was necessary. This terminology was, at least, crystal clear. No other opinion or check upon the Home Secretary’s personal and absolute discretion was envisaged: a return, in fact and in very essence, to the Lettres de Cachet and the Star Chamber.


The House of Commons refused absolutely to accept such a clause, or hand away its powers of supervision, and its responsibilities as the guardian of the rights and liberties of the citizen to any individual, be he Cabinet Minister or not.


The Government accordingly had to withdraw the offending sentence; and brought forward a second draft for approval some days later. In this new draft, drawn up, as Government spokesmen laboured to explain, in accordance with the express wishes of the House, the necessary safeguard from arbitrary executive tyranny had been introduced.


For the words “Home Secretary is satisfied that,” had been substituted, “Has reasonable cause to believe that.” The Government spokesmen explained at length on this occasion that this wording gave the required safeguard.


Members of Parliament were led to believe that their wishes had prevailed, and that they were to be the judges of what would or would not be “Reasonable Cause” for continued detention (as was proved in subsequent debates), and a rather uneasy House passed the Clause in this form, and on that understanding.


Two years later, when the Counsel of an 18B prisoner argued in Court along these lines, and demanded some sort of ventilation of his client’s case before Members of Parliament or a Court, no less a person than the Attorney- General himself pleaded on the Government’s behalf, that the words “Has reasonable cause to believe that,” meant precisely the same as “Is satisfied that.


There the matter had to rest as far as the Law Courts were concerned, though it was the subject of the most scathing comment of a most eminent Law Lord.


I myself was arrested under this Regulation on 23rd May, 1940, and thrown into Brixton Prison, where I remained in a cell until 26th September, 1944, without any charge being preferred against me, receiving merely a curt notification from the Home Office on the latter date that the order for my detention had been “revoked.” A paper of “Particulars” alleged as the reasons for my detention was supplied to me soon after my arrest.


I replied to them during a day’s interrogation by the so-called Advisory Committee, before which body I could call no witnesses, did not know who were my accusers, or the accusations they had made, and was not allowed the assistance of a lawyer. These particulars, together with my detailed reply to each, were set out in part II of a Statement I supplied later to the Speaker and Members of the House of Commons; and will be found in the Appendix of this book. They were based upon the untrue assertion that my anti-Communist attitude was bogus, and a cloak for disloyal activities. How untrue this slander was can be easily proved from my previous ten years’ record of unceasing attacks on Communism, both by questions and speeches in the House of Commons and outside.







On the morning following my release from Brixton Prison, I proceeded to the House of Commons at my usual hour of 10.15 a.m.; an action which appeared to cause no little surprise. It was not long before Jews and their friends were on my trail, and that of the Right Club. A string of provocative questions soon appeared on the Order Paper; but, like Gallio who, when the Jews took Sosthenes, and beat him before the Judgement seat, “cared for none of these things,” I gave no sign of interest.


The reporters in the Press Galleries were then turned on, to endeavour to extract from me some, at least, of the names in ‘the Red Book’ of the Right Club membership.


Now the names in the Red Book of members of the Right Club were, as the newspapers have shrieked aloud, kept strictly private, with the sole object of preventing the names becoming known to the Jews. The sole reason for this privacy was the expressed wish of the members themselves. To me, personally, the keeping of the names secret was only a disadvantage. It facilitated misrepresentation of every kind by my enemies; the publication of the names would have been of great assistance to me in every way. The sole reason for this stipulation on joining by so many members was the well-grounded fear of Jewish retaliation of a serious nature.


I remember in particular the conversation on this subject with one of these reporters from the Press Gallery of the House of Commons. He was an engaging young man, and particularly importunate. Would I not let him have just a few of the names?


“Supposing,” I said to him, “your name had been amongst those in the Red Book; and supposing that in disregard of my promise to you not to reveal it, I proceeded to communicate it to the press; and supply that definite evidence that you were a member of a society to fight against Jewish domination over Britain: you would not keep your job with your paper for six months.”

“I shouldn’t keep it for six minutes,” was the prompt reply.

“Exactly,” I answered. “Now you can see why I can’t give you the name of even one member of the Right Club from the Red Book. You yourself confirm their worst fears.”


Many hundreds of poor fellows find themselves in such a position today; indeed, hundreds is merely a matter of expression. The real number must be prodigious. How many, one might ask, can afford to run the risk to their livelihood, which is involved in letting it be known that they are aware of the Jewish grip and prepared to oppose it.


Even the wealthiest and most influential magnates of the land dare not brave the wrath of organised Jewry as the story regarding the Daily Mail controlling shares on pp. 6 and 7 of my statement to the Speaker shows. (See Appendix I.)


Not only in Britain has this been the case, but perhaps even more noticeably in the U.S.A., as the diaries of the late Mr James Forrestal prove.


The Forrestal Diaries published by the Viking Press, New York, 1951, only reach me as this book goes to press. Coming from a man of high integrity, who was U.S. Navy Under Secretary from 1940, and Secretary for Defence from 1947 until his resignation and suspicious death a few days later in March 1949, they are of the utmost significance.


The most important revelation therein is dated the 27th [85] December, 1945 (pages 121 and 122);


“Played golf today with Joe Kennedy (Joseph P. Kennedy, who was Roosevelt’s Ambassador to Great Britain in the years immediately before the war). I asked him about his conversations with Roosevelt and Neville Chamberlain from 1938 on. He said Chamberlain’s position in 1938 was that England had nothing with which to fight and that she could not risk going to war with Hitler. Kennedy’s view; That Hitler would have fought Russia without any later conflict with England if it had not been for Bullitt’s (William C. Bullitt, then Ambassador to France) (9) urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland; neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington. Bullitt, he said, kept telling Roosevelt that the Germans wouldn’t fight, Kennedy that they would, and that they would overrun Europe. Chamberlain, he said, stated that America and the world Jews had forced England into the war.[Author’s emphasis]


(9) A half-Jew.


If Mr. Forrestal’s information regarding the impulses behind the recent war needed any confirmation, they have already had it from the outspoken statements of Mr. Oswald Pirow, former South African Defence Minister, who told the Associated Press on the 14th January, 1952, in Johannesburg that;


“Chamberlain had told him that he was under great pressure from World Jewry not to accommodate Hitler.”


A second most important revelation in the Forrestal Diaries concerns Zionism. It is clear from the entries, that by December, 1947, Mr. Forrestal was becoming greatly concerned by the intervention of the Zionists into American politics. He records conversations with Mr. Byrnes and Senator Vandenberg, Governor Dewey and others, in attempts to lift the Palestine question out of party politics. From this time on he would seem to have made continuous efforts with that end in view.


The Diary records on the 3rd Feb., 1948 (pages 362 and 363) [86];


“Visit today from Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., who came in with strong advocacy of a Jewish State in Palestine, that we should support the United Nations ‘decision’, I pointed out that the United Nations had as yet taken no ‘decision’, that it was only a recommendation of the General Assembly and that I thought the methods that had been used by people outside of the Executive branch of the Government to bring coercion and duress on other nations in the General Assembly bordered closely onto scandal … I said I was merely directing my efforts to lifting the question out of politics, that is, to have the two parties agree that they would not compete for votes on this issue. He said this was impossible, that the nation was too far committed and that, furthermore, the Democratic Party would be bound to lose and the Republicans gain by such an agreement. I said I was forced to repeat to him what I had said to Senator McGrath in response to the latter’s observation that our failure to go along with the Zionists might lose the states of New York, Pennsylvania and California — that I thought it was about time that somebody should pay some consideration to whether we might not lose the United States.”


After a short note by the Editor of the Diaries the entry for the 3rd Feb., 1948, continues (page 364);


“Had lunch with Mr. B. M. Baruch. After lunch raised the same question with him. He took the line of advising me not to be active in this particular matter, and that I was already identified, to a degree that was not in my own interest, with opposition to the United Nations policy on Palestine.”


It was about this time that a campaign of unparalleled slander and calumny was launched in the United States press and periodicals against Mr. Forrestal. So greatly did this appear to have affected him that in March 1949, he resigned from the U.S. Defence Secretaryship; and on the 22nd of that month was found dead as a result of a fall from a very high window.





Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Chpt 1 & 2

Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Chpt 3 & 4

Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Chpt 5 & 6

Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Chpt 7 – 10

Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Chpt 11 & 12

Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Epilogue

Click to go to >> The Nameless War – Appendixes

PDF of this blog post. Click to view or download.

>>THE NAMELESS WAR Chapters 11 – 12

PDF of entire book.

THE NAMELESS WAR by A M Ramsay (1952)


Version History


Version 5:  Apr 11, 2023. Updated image links. Improved formatting. Updated Cover.
Version 4: Sep 5, 2019 – Re-uploaded images and PDFs for version.
Version 3:  Formatting, added links – Sep 27, 2014.
Version 2: Mon, Feb 17, 2014. Added PDF file.
Version 1: Published Feb 12 2014.

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4 Responses to The Nameless War : Ch 11, 12 – Regulation 18B; Who Dares?

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