Editorial Article, "Catholic Herald"

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 8th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the editorial article headed "Stalingrad—and After," in the "Catholic Herald" of 25th September, of which a copy has been sent to him; and whether he will consider issuing a warning under Defence Regulation 2C to discourage further publication of such defeatist propaganda?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I have considered this article but before taking action under Defence Regulation 2C I should have to be satisfied that there has been systematic publication of matter calculated to foment opposition to the prosecution of the war to a successful issue. While a large body of public opinion will share the views of the hon. Member as to the objectionable nature of the references in this article to our Ally, I think that the majority of people in this country will support the view of His Majesty's Government that the special powers vested in the Executive in war time should not be used to suppress the expression of opinion which, however objectionable, is not calculated to have any appreciable effect on the war effort.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his implied rebuke to the objectionable opinions expressed in this article will be received with satisfaction by all supporters of the cause of the United Nations?

Miss Rathbone:

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that some responsibility rests on Catholic Members of this House, who might use their influence to discourage, through their leaders, this very objectionable kind of article?