Bomb Damage (Press Photographs).

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

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Photo of Mr Oswald Lewis Mr Oswald Lewis , Colchester

asked the Minister of Information whether he will consider discouraging the too frequent publication in the Press of photographs of damage done by bombs from hostile aeroplanes in this country on the ground that the repetition of such illustrations day after day is calculated to give an exaggerated impression of German successes and to cause despondency and alarm among the civilian population?

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

The publication of these photographs has for some time been causing my right hon. Friend serious concern. He does not, however, possess powers to prohibit publication and can only hope and believe that the Press will appreciate the point made by the hon. Member and realise their serious responsibilities in such matters.

Photo of Mr Oswald Lewis Mr Oswald Lewis , Colchester

Does the Minister realise that it is only necessary to apply by Order-in-Council for him to have the powers?

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

My right hon. Friend is very anxious to do nothing to curtail the liberty of the Press. Hitherto, he has been able to rely with great success on the good sense of the persons concerned.

Photo of Mr Oswald Lewis Mr Oswald Lewis , Colchester

Will he make representations to the Press on this subject?

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

Representations have already been made.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage Lieut-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage , Louth Borough

Will the Minister also consider addressing to the Press the inadvisability of putting headlines to these photographs such as "Havoc in the Midlands"?

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

The question of headlines also is causing my right hon. Friend the very gravest concern.