Publicity (Restrictions).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1942.

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Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Minister of Information whether, in view of the existing control of all large channels of publicity, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation and large sections of the Press, for the period of the war, he will give an assurance that the Government will lift the restrictions at the earliest possible moment after the cessation of hostilities?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

Peace will bring nothing but unemployment to the censors. But I cannot accept my hon. Friend's assumption that large sections of the Press are under Government control. Except for the restrictions essential to war-time security, the entire Press has kept its traditional freedom, and shows no sign of losing it.

Mr. De la Bère:

I agree with what my right hon. Friend said about the Press. I have a very high opinion of the Press. But is my right hon. Friend aware that the B.B.C. has greater power than the Press, and that if it is allowed to go unchecked, this country will be completely ruled by the B.B.C., which is definitely anti-democratic in every way?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I do not think my hon. Friend is expressing the general opinion of the House when he makes that statement. As to the relative merits of the B.B.C. and the Press, I am not going to enter into that question.

Mr. De la Bère:

I absolutely stick to what I said.