Recording of Prime Minister's Statement.

– in the House of Commons on 21st January 1942.

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The following Motion stood upon the Order Paper in the name of The PRIME MINISTER. That the statement on the War Situation to be made by the Prime Minister in this House on the First Sitting Day after 25th January be electrically recorded, with a view to being subsequently broadcast.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

As there appears to be so much difference of opinion about this Motion which stands on the Order Paper, I do not intend to press it.

Photo of Hon. Hugh O'Neill Hon. Hugh O'Neill , Antrim

In view of the statement which the Prime Minister has just made, can he say whether it is still his intention to broadcast to the country on the same day as he makes his speech in the House of Commons?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

Yes, Sir. I shall do so.

Photo of Hon. Hugh O'Neill Hon. Hugh O'Neill , Antrim

In view of the fact that it is obviously a great strain on the Prime Minister to make two speeches on the same day, one in the House of Commons and one on the wireless, would it not be better in future if he arranged to make his broadcast statements on days when he does not have to make an important speech in the House of Commons?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I will bear that in mind, but my reluctance to do the same thing twice over on the same day arises less from fatigue than from certain inartistic qualities naturally inseparable from a re-hash.

Photo of Captain Leonard Plugge Captain Leonard Plugge , Rochester Chatham

While appreciating the reasons prompting my right hon. Friend to withdraw this Motion, may I ask him if he will not consider appointing a small Committee of the House of Commons to look more fully into the implications of this question as a result of my suggestion yesterday?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I think I have had had enough of it.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Does the Prime Minister realise how much the House of Commons appreciates his democratic instinct and his desire to defer to the general feeling of the House?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Has the Prime Minister ever considered whether there is another Member of the Government capable of undertaking these broadcasts?

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Does the Prime Minister realise that the objections which are felt to his original proposal arise from fears that it would set a precedent for ordinary matters of party politics, and would not democracy be well advised to show that it can adapt its procedure to deal with times of national emergency?

Photo of Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha Mr Leslie Hore-Belisha , Plymouth, Devonport

Further to what the right hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) has just said, may I say how much this action will be appreciated as being in marked, significant contrast to what would have happened in dictatorship countries? It is a most generous gesture.