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Publications (Foreign Nationalities)

Volume 380: debated on Wednesday 17 June 1942

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asked the Minister of Supply whether, in view of the shortage of newsprint for the British Press, steps have been taken to lessen the number of 63 publications for the emigrés of the 14 foreign nationalities now in this country?

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Information and I have reexamined this matter and have decided that it would not be desirable to withdraw the facilities given to any of these publications. The supply of paper to them is small and it is kept constantly under review.

Is it reasonable that 14 of these nationalities should require 63 papers, especially when there is such a shortage of newsprint elsewhere?

Is the Minister aware that a large number of these papers are delivered free to people who do not want them, including Members of Parliament? Does this not suggest that the publishers cannot sell them and that there is not as big a demand for them as some people suggest?

Is the Minister aware that many of the so-called foreign nationalities should be regarded as Allies rather than as foreigners; and, in view of the special anxieties which they are undergoing about the fate of their native countries, would it not be inhospitable on our part to deny them the right of expressing their separate points of view, which differ among them just as opinions differ in this House?

There are 14 nationalities involved, and the 63 papers cover all 14. Some of the papers are weekly, others are fortnightly, and others are quarterly publications. There is a great variety. Some are published for each of the; separate Services. I have great sympathy with the view expressd by the hon. Lady.

Can the Minister stop all these people sending copies of their publications to Members of Parliament?