"daily Mirror."

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 26th March 1942.

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

asked the Home Secretary whether he has taken any action under Regulation 2C against any person connected with the "Daily Mirror" or under Regulation 94A against the newspaper itself; and whether he will avail himself of his powers under these Regulations before applying those under Regulations 2D and 94B?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative. As regards the second part, I have already explained, in the statement made on 19th March, the reasons why the Government came to the conclusion that in this matter it is incumbent on themselves to form a judgment, subject, of course, always to their responsibility to Parliament, and those reasons cannot adequately be elaborated in reply to a Parliamentary Question.

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

In view of the very serious allegations and the statement that the conduct complained of has been going on for a very long time, how are the persons attacked in that statement to have any opportunity of rebutting what my right hon. Friend says, or of defending themselves against statements which, if untrue, would be defamatory?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I understand that there is to be a Debate later in the day, and it will then be open to hon. Members to defend this newspaper and to give any explanations there may be to be given. At any rate, if we are to discuss this matter to-day, I think it would be better to wait for that discussion.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Is not this an insidious attack against the freedom of the Press, initiated by the Prime Minister himself?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I think that the hon. Member and I both know that the answer is in the negative.