Incoming Letters (Censorship).

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force. – in the House of Commons on 24th April 1940.

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Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

asked the Minister of Information what procedure is followed in opening and examining letters sent to this country from other countries within the Empire?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

There is no censorship in the United Kingdom of letters sent to this country from other countries within the Empire.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

Is the Minister aware that I have had one sent to me from my sister in Australia which has been opened and censored, and that that is why I am making inquiries?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

The letter was opened in Australia.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

Surely that is dodging the issue. However, I have an answer for the time being, and I shall put down another Question.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Would the letter that I have received from my constituency be opened in Australia also?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

I should certainly want notice of that question.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is it not the fact that the Post Office have for several years claimed the right to open anything they thought improper?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

That may be so in war-time.

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

At the present moment letters from the Empire are not opened in the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom does not control what happens to letters in any other part of the Empire.