Sir John Reith: I am sorry to say that I heard only the second part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, but from what I heard I can agree that we will do it wherever we can.
Sir John Reith: I was not aware that trained British journalists were not being given their fair share of the work and I shall be glad to look into the matter. If it is the case I shall be glad to consider what can be done to rectify the matter.
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir, this is being done by all available means and as fully as possible.
Sir John Reith: Yes, that is so. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman would care to see them, but I am willing to bring to the House a packet of the pamphlets dealing with such questions as he mentions, and also with recent broadcasts.
Sir John Reith: The British Broadcasting Corporation is subject in its foreign broadcasts to the normal censorship requirements applying also to the Press. As to the second part of the Question, all machinery is frequently under review and on the whole it operates satisfactorily.
Sir John Reith: Comments, corrections and denials with regard to untrue statements are made in official communiqués, in information suppled to the Press on inquiry, or at Press Conferences, and in broadcast news bulletins and talks. There is a special section of the Ministry whose duty it is to watch for false statements put about by the enemy or otherwise and to supply the true facts at any hour of the day...
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir. I will try to have that done.
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir. German claims are so exaggerated as to evoke sarcastic comment in neutral countries. Special machinery exists in the Ministry for dealing with enemy misstatements. When these are not designed to elicit valuable information immediate corrections are issued through channels which assure wide publicity, especially in South-East Europe. A number of such statements have been issued in...
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir, though I should like to assure the hon. Member that it is the practice of the British Broadcasting Corporation to emphasise, where necessary, that particular reports are unconfirmed and should be treated with reserve. The effect of an inaccurate rumour can best be counteracted by the publication of an ample supply of truthful information, and this it is our constant endeavour to secure.
Sir John Reith: I think I indicated to the hon. Gentleman that the B.B.C. do, in fact, when broadcasting a report which is not confirmed, indicate quite clearly that that is so. I am sure that the B.B.C. are fully alive to the dangers to which the hon. Member refers.
Sir John Reith: I should like to assure hon. Members that the B.B.C. are at great pains to secure confirmation or otherwise of news before it is broadcast.
Sir John Reith: The Germans are, indeed, endeavouring to influence the Cubans in their favour, but my information about the effect of their propaganda does not quite accord with that of the hon. Member. If he has evidence which would help us I should be very glad to have it. As to the second part of the Question, we are making our own case known in Cuba, but this is not a matter in which we can properly...
Sir John Reith: No, Sir; in fact I did not know that, and I am glad of the information.
Sir John Reith: Seventy-two photographs of operations in Norway have so far been received and distributed by the Ministry, of which 21 were taken by professional photographers officially employed by the War Office, and the rest by Service personnel in the course of Service duties. Other negatives supplied were unsuitable for issue. The arrangements for obtaining these photographs were described by my hon....
Sir John Reith: I agree with the hon. Member and the matter is under discussion with the Service Ministers.
Sir John Reith: No, Sir.
Sir John Reith: I understand the purport of the Question and I will consider it with my Noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Sir John Reith: I would refer my hon. Friend to the answers given on 20th March to the hon. and gallant Member for Peebles (Captain Ramsay) and on 3rd April to the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. M. Samuel). This is a German station, located eastward of this country. The enemy propaganda emanating from it, together with that from other German sources, is countered in many ways. It would obviously be difficult to...
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir. I will ask the British Broadcasting Corporation to make that clear.
Sir John Reith: I would ask my hon. Friend to be kind enough to await the statement which the Prime Minister will make later this afternoon.