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British Newspaper Correspondents (European Countries)

Volume 415: debated on Wednesday 31 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Russian assurance of the freedom of newspaper correspondents in Rumania applies to other countries; and whether the effective freedom of British correspondents in all European countries is now assured.

The assurance given by M. Molotov to the Council of Foreign Ministers that the despatches of newspaper correspondents would not be subjected to censorship applied only to Rumania. The principle which it embodies, however—that of freedom of reporting—is honoured in most European countries now. I cannot say that the effective freedom of British correspondents is assured in all European countries. I have not, however, received any recent complaints from British journalists about restrictions on their activities. I am trying to obtain confirmation of a recent report that censorship of messages dealing with foreign affairs is to be introduced in Bulgaria.

The right hon. Gentleman said "most countries." Will he kindly indicate which countries do not subscribe to these restrictions?

I am afraid that in Europe it is liable to vary, sometimes from day to day.

Is it not a fact that the censorship is most severe in countries like Spain and Portugal?