Hon. Harold Nicolson: I would recommend my hon. Friend to listen regularly in the course of a week to our broadcasts in French.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The B.B.C. has already been requested to make abundantly clear to the people of France, by way of comment on the news and otherwise, the views held by His Majesty's Government, as well as by the Free French, on the deplorable policy of the Vichy Government.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Immediate inquiries into the suggestion made by the hon. Member are being instituted, and my right hon. Friend hopes shortly to be in the position to furnish a reply.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I should be very much surprised if any such instructions had been given with my right hon. Friend's approval.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend is well aware of the value of such expert talks, provided that they are of a general and informative character and contain no expressions of opinion, either personal or official, about operations which are in progress or in prospect. There is no intention of discontinuing these commentaries.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I am sure my right hon. Friend will make that clear.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Yes, Sir. The script of Dr. Benes' talk was sent to the B.B.C. before delivery. It is not, however, the general practice of the Ministry of Information to alter talks delivered by Heads of States except in so far as is required by the needs of military security.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: There are several alternative versions of the Hess saga. Dr. Benes himself was careful to say that he was giving only his own interpretation. The: Government neither approved nor disapproved.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Yes, Sir.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The British Civil Service is an organism and not a machine. It owes its vitality to the fact that even its most rigid rules are sometimes violated.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: In the circumstances, I think the statement was of public value.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: A very exceptional official and in very exceptional circumstances.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: This is a matter to which much attention has been given and the question of what further precautions are practicable and expedient is one on which my right hon. Friend is in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Certainly.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The premises originally occupied by the Belfast Censorship Unit were destroyed by enemy action on 4th-5th May, 1941. Emergency accommodation was secured which was found unsuitable. The Censorship Department was offered the present accommodation, which is situated outside the vulnerable area and is the best available in the circumstances. Certain alterations to the premises are about to be...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: All the activities the hon. Member mentions are already being undertaken by the Ministry, and I gratefully record the most valuable help and co-operation we receive from the distinguished Americans he names and from many others, but I am satisfied that the official association of American citizens with the Ministry of Information in executive responsibility has for the present nothing to...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: This matter is under constant consideration.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: No, Sir. I am, however, grateful to the hon. Member for calling my attention to this omission.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: No, Sir. It was not held to be opportune to broadcast the full text of these declarations at the time, and the matter has not been raised since.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Yes, Sir.