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Ministry Of Information

Volume 389: debated on Wednesday 5 May 1943

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Invitations To Broadcast (Ministers And Members)

31.

asked the Minister of Information whether it is the practice of his Ministry to confirm or veto invitations to broadcast issued by the British Broadcasting Corporation to Ministers or other Members of Parliament?

As regards Ministers, in practice the Prime Minister is consulted in all cases of political importance. As regards other Members of Parliament the B.B.C. is under no obligation to consult with me before issuing invitations. In practice they occasionally ask me for advice and sometimes act upon it.

Institute Of Historic Research (Rooms)

33.

asked the Minister of Information whether he can give the House any information about the requisitioning of the rooms of the Institute of Historic Research provided by London University; and what provision is to be made for the large Institute library?

These rooms have not been requisitioned. The University of London has agreed that the Ministry of Information should take them over provided that suitable alternative accommodation is found and arrangements made for the removal of the Institute's library. The Ministry of Works is at present looking for alternative accommodation.

Postal Deliveries, Edinburgh

34.

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in curtailing the postal deliveries in Edinburgh, he will take into consideration the importance of the second post delivered in the middle of the morning?

Yes, Sir, but if the hon. Gentleman wants any details, he should put a Question down.

Post-War Housing (Preparatory Plans)

36.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the ministry Works whether, in view of the position of the constructional war programme and the urgency of rehousing all classes of workers in the bombed areas or on other appropriate sites in the immediate postwar period, he will use any surplus unskilled labour and available machinery in the preparation of lay-outs and approval of plans, clearance of sites and provision of services and foundations to surface level so that later the least possible delay may take place in the erection of the superstructure?

In the event of any unskilled labour becoming available, the possibility of using it for undertaking the preparatory work in the clearance of sites and in the provision of services for the rehousing of the population will most certainly be kept in mind. As regards the lay-out and approval of plans, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health has already asked local authorities to carry out all the preparatory work necessary to enable one year's work on rehousing to be started as soon as labour and materials become available.

Did I gather from the answer that the Minister of Health has already circularised local authorities?

How is it possible to have lay-out plans until we know on what sites it will be permissible to build?

Until a decision has been made in regard to town planning, how shall we know whether we shall be able to build on cleared sites?