[Mimeographed pamphlet.] No Right to a Hearing. The Deportation Proceedings Against Bert Bensen. By Bert Bensen.

Bert Bensen, American psychology lecturer and supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Publication details: 
'Published by: Friends of Bert Bensen, Top Flat, 127, King Henry's Road, London NW3'. February 1965.
SKU: 13407

16pp., 4to, with additional yellow cover leaf carrying title, with 'Introduction' on reverse. In good condition, on aged and worn paper, with slight damage to the fore-edge of the cover leaf. Neat ownership inscription of John H. Shaw. According to the introduction 'Bert Bensen's account of his attempts to stay in Britain - and of the determination of two successive Home Secretaries that he shall not - reads like something out of Kafka. The Sense of unreality that permeates the Bensen affair should not be allowed to hide the serious questions it raises. Why was Mr. Bensen's residence permit not renewed in February 1964? Why was he refused a court hearing, and why was a deportation order issued against him in June 1964? Was it because he represents a real threat to national security (as Henry Brooke claimed and as Sir Frank Soskice half claims)? Or was it rather because as a ban-the-bomber he was a nuisance and as a foreigner he was vulnerable? | Mr. Bensen is legally present in Britain during February 1965; this is on "humanitarian grounds" - to register the birth of his child. Either he is a security risk and will threaten the safety of the realm throughout February, or he is not a security risk and can safely be allowed to stay for as long as he likes.' Bensen's account is well-written, and includes sections titled 'The deportation order signed - two police visits', 'The hearing before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate' and 'Imperative considerations on national security'. The Bensen case was reported in a Times article of 19 June 1964, titled 'U.S. lecturer goes into hiding to avoid deportation'. The article begins 'Mr. Bert Bensen, aged 39, the American psychology lecturer who was given until midnight last night to leave Britain, has gone into hiding until the autumn, when he hopes that a Labour Government will be in power and allow him to stay.' The article reported that 'An eleventh-hour attempt by a group of M.P.s - including Mrs. Judith Hart (Labour, Lanark) and Mr. Eric Lubbock (Liberal, Orpington) - to stop the deportation was called off yesterday when they learnt that Mr. Benson had disappeared. "This has put a new face on the matter", Mrs. Hart said. "Mr. Bensen has become a fugitive from justice. . . . We shall continue to concern ourselves with the principles of the matter but in the circumstances we cannot approach Mr. Brooke on Mr. Bensen's behalf. Mr. Bensen has in fact spoiled things for himself."' The article concludes: 'Mr. Bensen has been in Britain since 1961 but the Home Office refused an extension to his visa. He has been a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.' Scarce: the only copies traced at the British Library, London School of Economics and University of Wisconsin.