Oral Answers to Questions — Rudolf Hess (DR. Benes' Broadcast)

– in the House of Commons on 8th July 1941.

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Mr. Silveman:

asked the Minister of Information whether the script of the recent broadcast of Dr. Benes, in the Czech language, in which he purported to deal with the reasons of the arrival in the country of Hess, was submitted to and approved by the Government beforehand?

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

Yes, Sir. The script of Dr. Benes' talk was sent to the B.B.C. before delivery. It is not, however, the general practice of the Ministry of Information to alter talks delivered by Heads of States except in so far as is required by the needs of military security.

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

Will the hon. Gentleman explain why it was that the Government approved of statements to the Czechs about this matter, while denying any statement to the people of this country about it?

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

There are several alternative versions of the Hess saga. Dr. Benes himself was careful to say that he was giving only his own interpretation. The: Government neither approved nor disapproved.

Mr. J. J. Davidson:

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this speech indicated that great interest was shown in other countries, apart from this country, in the arrival of Hess, and that the recent statement of the Deputy Commissioner that this was not so was utter nonsense?