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Press Censorship

Volume 393: debated on Thursday 4 November 1943

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30.

asked the Secretary of State for India what restrictions are imposed on Indian newspapers and upon news sent from this country; and for how long public statements by British Members of Parliament are intercepted and delayed when despatched by news agencies and newspaper correspondents to the Indian Press?

The Central and Provincial Governments in collaboration with the Press Advisory Committees encourage the Press in India itself to impose any necessary restrictions on its members, but have power to issue orders as necessary under the Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act, 1931, and Defence of India Rules 40 and 41. As these Orders vary in different Provinces and are subject to constant review I am unable to give the hon. Member detailed information about them. Press messages reaching India from outside are subject to scrutiny by the Indian Censorship but the delay involved is kept to the lowest possible degree.

Is there, on this side, any kind of censorship or interception of communications sent to India?

Yes, there is a censorship at this end, strictly dealing with matters of military information.

Could the Minister say why it was that a letter sent to the "Manchester Guardian" by the hon. Member for West Leyton was intercepted and delayed for some time after publication in this country?

I will be delighted to look into that if the hon. Member will provide me with the details.