Archibald Ramsay

ramsayArchibald Ramsay was born in Scotland in 1894. In 1940, he was interned in Brixton Prison under special wartime regulations that allowed the Home Secretary to detain people who were deemed a threat. He was the only M.P. to be detained under this regulation. Some believed his profile and membership of the House of Commons saved him from being charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act for passing information to Nazi Germany. In fact, some Labour Party M.P.s suspected he’d done a deal to stay out of court by keeping the membership of the Right Club secret.

In 1941, while in detention, he sued the New York Times for libel for reporting he had been spying. He won his case by arguing that if he had been guilty of spying British authorities would have charged him, but the court awarded derisory damages of a farthing, effectively suggesting it regarded this as a technicality.

He was released from Brixton in September 1944. He lost his seat in parliament in the 1945 General Election that also turfed out Churchill. In 1955 he published a book in self-justification entitled The Nameless War, and he died in March of that year. He said in his book that he kept the names of Right Club members secret because of the “well-grounded fear of Jewish retaliation of a serious nature.” He did entrust the list of members to Tyler Kent for safekeeping and was discovered when his flat was raided.


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