Fifth Column

During the Second World War the British government was constantly monitoring the success of its various policies concerning the Home Front. The government was also aware of the possibility that it might be necessary to introduce legislation to deal with any emerging problems.

It is December 1941. You have been asked to write a report on the Fifth Column. This is to be divided into two sections.

Fifth Column: Main article

(1) A report on the Fifth Column in Britain during the war.

Things you should consider include:

(a) What was Defence Regulation 18B?

(b) Who was arrested on 23rd May 1940?

(c) Why were the leaders of the British Union of Fascists arrested in May 1940?

(d) What does the term Fifth Column mean?

(e) How many people were arrested as a result of Defence Regulation 18B?

(f) Why do you think the school teacher was imprisoned for "advancing defeatist theories" to his pupils?

(2) A report that includes proposals about the changes that you would like to see in government policy. These proposals will then be discussed and voted on by the rest of the class.

Things you should consider include:

(a) Was the government right to introduce Defence Regulation 18B?

(b) Was it morally right to imprison people in Britain for their political beliefs?