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Ship's Departure (Press Restrictions)

Volume 380: debated on Wednesday 3 June 1942

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asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that an employee of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Terence de Marney, obstructed accredited journalists in the performance of their duties on the occasion of the departure of a certain vessel from a Scottish port; whether he will make it clear that this employee had no authority from the British Broadcasting Corporation, or two Government Departments, for refusing normal facilities for interviews and photographs; and whether he will ask the British Broadcasting Corporation to take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee concerned?

I understand that no instructions were given for the refusal of normal facilities for interviews and photographs but that the officer concerned felt himself to be responsible for avoiding any publicity which might draw attention to the departure of the vessel. The strong protests which I have received on the matter have been conveyed to the B.B.C. and have been brought to the attention of the officer concerned.

While thanking the Minister for his assurance, may I ask him whether he thinks that a photograph in an hotel lounge would draw attention to the departure of this vessel?