Hon. Harold Nicolson: Then the discourtesy, such as it was, was indirect.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Oh yes, that is a question that we shall have to take up with the regional officers and ask them for their opinion. It was a suggestion which was not agreed to by the hon. Member behind the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I think it is a very good point, and I am very grateful to the hon. Member for Stoke for having made it. It will certainly be considered, although of course, it would throw extra work on to the B.B.C., but if it sent people to work less anxious, it would be worth while every time. We shall certainly do it if it is at all feasible. The hon. Member for Romford raised the question of speed. One...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. Before the recent intensification of hostilities, the Ministry of Information had commissioned 60 films of various kinds and were helping a number of film production companies by the grant of facilities and official approval. Some of the films commissioned were inappropriate to the present crisis and have been temporarily...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The preparation of both the types of film suggested was considered several weeks ago, but, after careful examination, it was decided that the necessary instructions would be better conveyed by other means.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: It is at present contemplated to do it by means of pamphlets which will be circulated to every household, and they will provide full instructions.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend cannot accept the hon. Baronet's description of the article in question, which is mainly concerned with the oppression of the Poles under German rule, but deals also in certain paragraphs with conditions in Soviet-occupied territory. It is, of course, contrary to the policy of His Majesty's Government to initiate publicity hostile to neutral states, and my right hon....
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Certain passages from a speech by Mr. Jack Tanner were inserted in the General News Service issue of the 30th May. They appeared to have been inserted in their context by the editor of the service for the sole purpose of casting disrepute upon the war effort of this country, and were cut accordingly. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The censorship of matter transmitted by mail abroad is exercised by virtue of warrants granted by the Crown which authorise the censorship of postal material. The principles on which censorship is exercised in such matters are settled by administrative decision, which, in the case of Press matter, is taken by my right hon. Friend.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The B.B.C. introduced such broadcasts on 23rd June, and two programmes are broadcast each day, the first from 10.30 to 11 a.m., and the second from 3 to 3.30 p.m. With regard to the second part of the Question, I will consult with the Departments concerned.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: That will certainly be borne in mind.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: I will also bear that in mind.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Reception areas cover a large portion of the country. For this reason it is not considered practicable or necessary to keep the names of these areas secret, and they have in fact been a matter of common knowledge both in this country and abroad. The question whether the names of the districts to which children are being sent should be published in advance of a particular movement will be kept...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The hon. Member will note that in my reply I stated "general direction of movement." However, I quite appreciate his point.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend had received complaints from some hon. Members to the effect that they had not been notified in time that regional meetings were to be held in their constituencies. He regarded these complaints as reasonable, and steps were taken to ensure that such notifications should not miscarry. In view, however, of the urgent need of economy, he has given instructions that only one...
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The publication of these photographs has for some time been causing my right hon. Friend serious concern. He does not, however, possess powers to prohibit publication and can only hope and believe that the Press will appreciate the point made by the hon. Member and realise their serious responsibilities in such matters.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: My right hon. Friend is very anxious to do nothing to curtail the liberty of the Press. Hitherto, he has been able to rely with great success on the good sense of the persons concerned.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: Representations have already been made.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: The question of headlines also is causing my right hon. Friend the very gravest concern.
Hon. Harold Nicolson: A leaflet, "If the Invader comes—what to do and how to do it," was circulated to every householder in the country in the course of last week. This leaflet contained a number of instructions to the civilian population as to their action in the event of parachute and other landings. The leaflet included a statement that "more detailed instructions will be given you when the danger comes nearer."