Reception Areas (Publication of Names).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 26th June 1940.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr James Hollins Mr James Hollins , West Ham Silvertown

asked the Minister of Information whether he will put a stop to the publication of the names of reception areas to which children are being sent both by the Press and the British Broadcasting Corporation in view of the risks entailed?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

Reception areas cover a large portion of the country. For this reason it is not considered practicable or necessary to keep the names of these areas secret, and they have in fact been a matter of common knowledge both in this country and abroad. The question whether the names of the districts to which children are being sent should be published in advance of a particular movement will be kept constantly under review; in the case of certain recent movements it was considered desirable to make public the general direction of the movement.

Photo of Mr James Hollins Mr James Hollins , West Ham Silvertown

Is the Minister aware that within two days of the children coming to this area newspapers were publishing pictures of their arrival with the name of the town, and this at a time when we are fighting an enemy who believes in a war of nerves? Is he further aware that newsagents' placards were announcing "Bombs on Wales" and that parents were running around to find someone to tell them what had happened to their children? Does he not think it wiser that a more indeterminate area should be named? It would be better for the nerves of the parents and for the children.

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

The hon. Member will note that in my reply I stated "general direction of movement." However, I quite appreciate his point.