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Education (History Books)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Education whether he will ask the Governments of the United States of America and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to nominate members to Professor Barker's Committee now set up to consider the publication of objective history books of all countries for the post-war years?

I have been asked as chairman of this Conference of Representatives of the Allied Governments established in the United Kingdom and of the French National Committee, whom I invited to meet me to consider the needs of enemy-occupied countries, to inform the Representatives of the Governments of the U.S.A. or of the U.S.S.R. of our activities. I hope to secure their interest and co-operation.

My right hon. Friend has not answered my Question. I asked him whether he had approached, or would approach, the United States and the Soviet Governments with a view to sending representatives to serve on Professor Barker's Committee, especially in view of the fact that the modern history books of both these great countries have partly led to the misunderstandings now, happily, being cleared up.

I answered the Question specifically by saying that I hope to enlist their co-operation.

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider getting this Committee to examine our own history books, some of which are terrible?