Press Messages (Censorship)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information – in the House of Commons on 18th November 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

asked the Minister of Information what action he has taken on his decision to exercise a stricter control on Press messages from this country; whether statements made in Parliament containing criticism of the Government, or any of our Allies, or any member of the Administration will be censored; and if so, whether he will exercise the censorship himself?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

Censorship of Press messages from this country is being carried out in accordance with the principles laid down in my reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Aylesbury (Sir S. Reed), on 26th March. Messages correctly reporting statements made in Parliament are not censored, whether or not they contain criticism of members of the Government or of anyone else.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Does the Minister say that no instruction has recently been issued which purports to censor statements made in this House which may reflect on the conduct of members of the Administration, including himself? Is he certain about that?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I am absolutely certain. I am the only person who could issue such an instruction, and I would not dream of issuing an instruction that criticisms of any member of the Administration—including myself—should not be properly reported.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Will the right hon. Gentleman do me the favour of making very careful inquiries into this, because I have some contrary information?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I am more than willing to make a careful inquiry, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman will give me the information he has. I will certainly make an inquiry, because it would be a very grave matter indeed if the hon. Gentleman's statement was accurate.