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Eastern Europe (British Press Representation)

Volume 414: debated on Wednesday 17 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many British journalists are now working in Austria, Hungary, Roumania and Bulgaria, respectively.

According to the latest information I have received, there are now six British correspondents in Austria, none in Hungary, one in Roumania and one in Bulgaria. Two more will very shortly arrive in Roumania, and permission has been granted for several others to visit Hungary and Bulgaria. In addition, a number of British newspapers and agencies are represented in these countries by correspondents who are not of British nationality.

In view of what my right hon. Friend has said, how is it possible for the world to be made aware of the alleged democratic development of these countries? Is not such representation fantastic, and are the Government satisfied with the condition of affairs?

Including those correspondents who are not of British nationality and those who have received permission to go and have not yet gone, the number is considerable. The Soviet Government have given us an assurance that their despatches will not be censored from Rumania, and I have no doubt that that applies to other countries.

Whatever the number of correspondents may be, is there any organised arrangement for the distribution of their news?

I am afraid I cannot say, but if my hon. Friend will put a question down I will tell him.