British Legation, the Hague (Press Staff).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 8th May 1940.

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Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that in the German Legation at The Hague there are 43 trained Nazi pressmen, all of whom can speak Dutch fluently, whereas at the British Legation there is only one British journalist and he has no knowledge of the Dutch language; and what steps are being taken to remedy this state of affairs?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

The Press staff at the British Legation at The Hague numbers five, two of whom speak Dutch. The staff at the German Legation is larger but results are not necessarily proportionate to the numbers employed. The staff at the Legation would be supplemented if it were thought necessary by the head of the Mission.

Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

When will the right hon. Gentleman give trained British journalists an adequate share of the work of propaganda in those foreign countries where British propaganda is most needed?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

I am sorry to say that I heard only the second part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, but from what I heard I can agree that we will do it wherever we can.

Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

To make the matter perfectly clear, the first part of the Question was: Why will you not give an adequate share of the work of propaganda to trained British journalists in those foreign countries where they can speak the language?

Photo of Sir John Reith Sir John Reith , Southampton

I was not aware that trained British journalists were not being given their fair share of the work and I shall be glad to look into the matter. If it is the case I shall be glad to consider what can be done to rectify the matter.

Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

Arising out of that answer—

Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

I have received applications from many trained journalists—[Interruption].