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Ministry Of Information

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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Speech, Colville's Clyde Iron Works

19.

asked the Minister of Information whether he has considered the letter from the Clyde Iron No. 2 Branch of the British Iron, Steel and Kindred Trades Association, sent to him by the hon. Member for West Fife, protesting against the anti-Soviet character of the speech made by a Dr. McLeod, at Colville's Clyde Iron Works, on 15th February; and what statement he has to make?

As I have already told the hon. Member in my reply to his letter, the Ministry of Information did not send this speaker to the iron works and cannot take any responsibility for his utterances.

As this meeting was held under the auspices, or direction, of the Ministry of Information, can nothing be done in view of the fact that this Minister was invited back for a further meeting?

I have enough trouble looking after some of the speakers sponsored by the Ministry of Information without adding to that responsibility by looking after orators unconnected with my Ministry.

Armed Forces, Northern Ireland (Gifts)

20.

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that when it is desired to send to a unit of His Majesty's Forces in Northern Ireland gifts of a recreational nature the Postal and Telegraphic Censorship Department of his Ministry require, in duplicate, an undertaking of a character which has not been required in connection with similar gifts to serving members of His Majesty's Forces in any other part of the world; and the reason for this discrimination against His Majesty's Forces in Northern Ireland?

No censorship permit is required for sending gifts to a member of His Majesty's Forces serving outside Great Britain provided that they are addressed to his unit. If a private address in Northern Ireland is used, the regulations applying to packets for civilians must be observed.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the case of a registered war charity, properly addressed, it was required to fill in a most elaborate document?

If I bring them to my right hon. Friend's attention, will he look into the matter further?

Allied Publications (House Of Commons)

21.

asked the Minister of Information whether, in order to save wastage and postage, he can arrange with the various despatching organisations that copies of the "Soviet War News" and similar daily or regular publications shall be left in the newspaper room or some other convenient place where they can be collected by Members who wish to read them?

I agree that this is a useful suggestion. I understand that the authorities of the House are prepared to arrange for copies of these publications of our Allies to be placed in the newspaper room for the use of Members who wish to cancel their individual copies.

Jews (Broadcast Propaganda)

22.

asked the Minister of Information whether he will arrange for the case for the Jews to be stated every week over the wireless in view of the fact that the Jews are the only minority selected for exclusive attack by the Nazi Government in their propaganda?

It would be an insult to our Jewish fellow-citizens if the B.B.C. were to attempt to broadcast replies to stale German lies. I cannot accept my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion that there is any need to state a case for the Jews. Our Jewish fellow-citizens have no need to be on the defensive. They play their fair part in bearing the burdens and sharing the dangers which His Majesty's subjects of all creeds have willingly accepted in their resistance to German aggression.