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Speeches And Press Communications (Restraints)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will introduce legislation to allow members of the Armed Forces to address political meetings in uniform and to write uncensored letters and articles for the Press.

The restraints placed upon members of the Armed Forces in the matter of addressing political meetings, and on writing letters and articles for the Press on certain subjects without special authority, are imposed by Regulations, and not by legislation. The restraints on writing to the Press do not extend to all subjects, but only to those subjects which are forbidden by the Regulations of the Service to which an individual belongs. These restraints are in general common to members of the Armed Forces and civilian Crown servants. The need for their retention has been frequently discussed in the past in the course of Debate on the Army Annual Bill, and I am averse from any alteration of the existing Regulations.