Oral Answers to Questions — Damaged Historical Buildings, London (Information).

– in the House of Commons on 20th May 1941.

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Major Vyvyan Adams:

asked the Minister of Information what is the policy underlying the deliberate non-publication of news revealing injury to beautiful and historic buildings in London; and whether he is aware that such publication, so far from causing despondency, would pro mote the resolution of the British people to attain final and complete victory?

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

Reference to any individual site recently injured by air bombardment is forbidden on security grounds. It is the practice to relax this rule in the case of some buildings of historic or national importance within a short time of the event.

Major Adams:

But in view of official silence on this matter, and as neighbouring objectives have been hit, may I ask my hon. Friend whether the broken Crusaders in Temple Church do not appeal to his imagination?

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

What grounds for security are there in publishing at an early moment the fact that the Houses of Parliament have been damaged and declining information about other buildings? What is the policy? Is it right or wrong?

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

It is not a question of policy; it is a question of common sense. We wish to give just as much information as we possibly can without giving information to the enemy.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

What common sense is there in telling the Germans where they have dropped bombs?

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

That is a matter of opinion.