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Lectures, Ipswich (Cancellation)

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 11 May 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War for what reason, on or about 4th April, 1943, Mr. John White, of 20, Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, was stopped from continuing a series of lectures on land and monetary reform at the British Legion Hall, to soldiers of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers sub-workshops units stationed in the district?

When it is proposed to arrange a series of lectures, the approval of the Formation Headquarters is required unless the lecturer is registered on the panel of the Regional Committee for Education in His Majesty's Forces. In this case owing to an oversight arrangements for this series of lectures were made locally without such prior approval. When the arrangements made were referred to the Formation Headquarters, in the exercise of their discretion, they decided for good and sufficient reasons that the lectures should not proceed.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this gentleman had already given 10 or 11 lectures of a very instructive nature, which were very much enjoyed by the troops; and may I also ask whether, if this gentleman applies for registration on the official list, it will be granted?

Will my right hon. Friend state the reason for which this permission was withdrawn? Was it because this gentleman was giving very instructive lectures on what I call financial humbug?

No, Sir, those were not the reasons; but I have examined the reasons and satisfied myself that they were valid.

In view of the most unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at an early date. It is a question of liberty.