Letter Censorship.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 20th May 1942.

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Photo of Sir Spencer Summers Sir Spencer Summers , Northampton

asked the Minister of Information the instructions under which the censorship of letters written between correspondents in England or Wales is carried out?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

There is no internal censorship of letters in England or Wales, apart from occasional cases in which letters posted in a particular area are selected for examination as an operational security measure. It would not be in the public interest to disclose the instructions issued on such occasions.

Photo of Sir Spencer Summers Sir Spencer Summers , Northampton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a section of the public which believes that this machinery is used for the suppression of criticism of Ministers and of the Government in general? Will he not agree that that would be an improper use of the machinery in question?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

Indeed I should, but, if people believe that, they will believe anything.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to say that it is a coincidence that many letters to Members of the House are opened?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I should say it is a remarkable coincidence.