Rudolf Hess.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 28th May 1941.

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Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that Sir Nevile Henderson, speaking at Spalding on behalf of his Department, referred to Rudolf Hess as a sincere and blameless personality; and whether he will take steps to prevent Ministry of In formation speakers referring to Nazi leaders in this way as many persons are thereby induced to believe that this is the official view of His Majesty's Government?

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

The hon. and gallant Member is under some misapprehension. Sir Nevile Henderson has never spoken on behalf of the Ministry of Information, nor am I aware that any Ministry speaker has ever referred to Nazi officials in the manner described. Accordingly, my right hon. Friend does not consider that there is any need to issue a warning such as the hon. and gallant Member suggests.

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

May I see my hon. Friend later and show him the speech which was made?

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

I am quite prepared to believe that Sir Nevile Henderson made a speech, but he did not make it under our auspices.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Does the Minister not see the importance of a speech of this kind made by a man who, for so many years, was our Ambassador in Berlin?

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

Is not Hess one of those unsavoury fungi which we want to stamp out in this country and elsewhere? We do not want ex-Ambassadors supporting Hess.