Publications (Export Permits).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 18th April 1940.

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Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

asked the Minister of Information why the application of Messrs. Lawrence & Wishart, Limited, for an export permit covering their publications has been refused; and whether the application of any other publisher has been refused?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

The answer to the first part of the Question is that after a full consideration of the case last December it was decided in the national interest that a general permit should not be issued to Messrs. Lawrence &' Wishart for the export of their publications to censorable countries. Permission to export a particular publication was later sought and granted. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative.

Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

Can the Minister give any explanation for this general refusal? Can he say, in view of the fact that this firm publishes almost entirely Socialist books, whether any political consideration entered into the decision?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

I prefer not to answer more specifically, but I will tell the hon. Member that if this particular firm cares to make the particular application again, since general permission was refused, such application will have consideration.