Hon. Harold Nicolson: Arrangements have been made with the Cinematograph Exhibitors' Association for the inclusion in each programme in almost every cinema theatre throughout the country, including the London area, of a short Ministry propaganda film. In addition there are many longer films of propaganda value made by commercial producers either for, or in co-operation with, the Ministry. These are regularly...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend is never satisfied that all arrangements are perfect, but the arrangements now made are a great improvement on the former ones.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Yes, Sir.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The case for and against a discussion of peace aims has been ventilated both on the wireless and in the Press, and the Government see no reason at present to encourage further discussion.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I am afraid I should want notice of that question.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I am grateful to learn that the change of wavelength has led to better reception of the Forces programme at Greenock, and I am glad to say that a similar improvement has been obtained in several other parts of the country. Moreover, it is now possible to devote the new wavelength exclusively to this programme, as the foreign language bulletins which previously had to be transmitted along...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I would not say that.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The final text of these instructions will probably be approved within the next few days. They will be distributed in leaflet form by the Post Office to every household in the Kingdom. They will be issued at the same time to the Press, and copies will be available in the Library.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The script of Sir Walter Citrine's talk conflicted with a standing censorship instruction which prohibits, in the interests of national security, the mention of a particular subject. The reasons underlying this prohibition still retain their force, and it would have been unfair to make an exception to a rule which has been loyally accepted by other broadcasters and by the Press. I can only...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: No, Sir; there is no question of the eminence of the broadcaster. The point is merely that he cannot give information which is denied to the Press.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The question is constantly being reconsidered.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I regret that on account of the very great pressure on broadcasting time I cannot ask the B.B.C. to transfer the Welsh news to a peak listening hour, and for the same reason the Corporation cannot increase the time now devoted to programmes in Welsh.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I understand that the unoccupied people are in a rather elderly category, and it is not likely that a large proportion will be employed at the time of the Welsh broadcasts.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Five Presbyterian services were broadcast during January, 1941, one during February and two during March. The time available for religious broadcasting is allocated by the British Broadcasting Corporation to the various religious denominations on a regular basis approved by the Central Religious Advisory Committee, while religious broadcasts are fixed at the hours found most convenient to the...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend is giving it very careful consideration.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend is in consultation with my right hon. Friends the Minister of Labour and National Service and the President of the Board of Trade with a view to ensuring that sufficient skilled man-power is retained for the production of propaganda films—and of films generally—having regard to the manpower needs of the Armed Forces.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: In the speech to which the Question appears to refer, my right hon. Friend stated that he was personally not opposed to the discussion of peace aims by private individuals. No decision has been taken with regard to the question whether such discussion should be given publicity by the B.B.C.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I am aware that my right hon. Friend does not consider the present phase of the war very suitable for such a discussion.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The B.B.C. do not include in their news bulletins any commentaries which are not either supplied or approved by responsible Departments. My right hon. Friend has, however, been aware for some time that irritation is caused if news bulletins fail to be wholly objective and has requested the B.B.C. to render them as factual as possible. He will consider the point raised by the hon. Member in...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend has made representations to the B.B.C. in that sense.