"peace News."

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

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Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

asked the Home Secretary why "Peace News" is not banned, in view of statements made in its issue of 13th March, 1942, that the raid on the Renault Works, in Paris, was made to produce a momentary and false impression of activity and to keep up morale at home, that the war was precipitated by partisans of Poland and Czechoslovakia and as it is openly asking for subscriptions in order to carry on Pacifist propaganda?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

A careful watch has been and is being kept on this periodical, but I have not hitherto felt that any action against it was necessary, having regard not only to the very limited class of persons to whom it appeals, but also to the expressed view of the House at the time when the Defence Regulations were under consideration that the mere expression of Pacifist opinion ought not to be made an offence under the Defence Regulations. Statements such as those to which my hon. Friend refers, however, and other statements which have appeared from time to time in this periodical, go beyond anything which can be regarded as the legitimate expression of Pacifist views. The paper will continue to be watched, and I shall not hesitate to take appropriate action if I am satisfied that that course is necessary.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the current issue of that paper the view is expressed that conditions in Hong Kong under the Japanese are not much worse than they were under British rule; and what more seditious statement could be made than that?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The article to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers is one of the articles of which notice has been taken.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Will the Home Secretary bear in mind his often declared opinion that we ought to have the freedom of the Press maintained here?