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"Review Of World Affairs"

Volume 380: debated on Wednesday 17 June 1942

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asked the Minister of Information whether his attention has been drawn to the contents of a publication called "Review of World Affairs," dated 1st June, 1942; whether he is aware that its contents are of a definitely defeatist character and calculated to create misgivings in the minds of the people who read it of the assistance that can be given in the war by Russia; and what steps he is prepared to take to counteract the anti-Ally propaganda of this publication?

Yes, Sir. My attention has been drawn to the contents of this publication. I think that the achievements of our Ally Russia can safely be left to speak for themselves, and I do not think that I need to set out to counteract the opinions of the few people who seek to belittle the Russian war effort.

As the names of several Members of this House and of the other House appear on the heading of this Review, will it not attain in this country a considerable amount of false influence with people who think that this is being done virtually by the authority of Members of Parliament?

I cannot accept that assumption. If the names of Members of Parliament are connected with a newspaper, that does not give the newspaper any right to be looked upon as a second sort of Hansard. It is a great pity really to criticise expressions of opinion. I do not like this publication at all, but this House is constantly beating the Government up for their attempts at censorship, and it is strange that when Members see something they do not like they want it censored and, on the other hand, they want to give expressions of opinion that are not sometimes acceptable to other people.