German Legation, Eire.

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

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Photo of Mr Vernon Bartlett Mr Vernon Bartlett , Bridgwater

asked the Minister of Information what steps are envisaged to prevent information of military importance from being taken across the border from Northern Ireland to Eire, and thence by the German diplomatic bag from Dublin to Berlin?

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

asked the Minister of Information whether he is satisfied that adequate precautions are taken to prevent information of value to the enemy passing to the German Legation in Eire via Northern Ireland; and whether he will make a considered statement upon the report recently submitted to him making allegations of neglect in this respect?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

All practicable steps are being taken to ensure that information of value to the enemy is not transmitted to Germany from any part of the United Kingdom, and the position is constantly under review.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

Are not these Questions a grave reflection on Ulster?

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Were the statements contained in the article submitted to the Minister well founded?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

I have seen the article to which the hon. Member refers, but I am sorry I am not able to say anything more than I have said.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Is the Minister in a position to deny the statements made in that article? [Interruption.] On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. May I have an answer to that Question?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

The Minister need not give an answer if he considers it is not in the public interest to do so.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Further to my point of Order. Was that the Minister's reply? I did not hear it. I should like to know whether you answered the Question for the Minister, or whether that is the Minister's answer.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

I was answering the hon. Member on a point of Order. I was not answering a Question for the Minister, and I hope he will not take it that I was doing so.

Photo of Mr William Craven-Ellis Mr William Craven-Ellis , Southampton

Will my right hon. Friend take steps to prevent the employment of aliens at Southampton Docks?

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Is the Minister aware that 88,000 telegrams are sent from this country to foreign countries every week, and is he satisfied that the measures to prevent leakage by that channel are complete?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

Yes, Sir. I think I may say that the measures to prevent leakage by that channel are, to all intents and purposes, complete.