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Letter Censorship

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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28.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the British censorship in Germany is opening letters addressed by Germans to Members of Parliament at the House of Commons; and whether this policy has his approval.

Yes, Sir. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply made on 24th April by my right hon. Friend the former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to a similar question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. SkeffingtonLodge). At present I have nothing to add to that reply.

Does my right hon. Friend think it necessary to have these letters censored which at the present time involves an inordinate waste of time? Surely, as there is no security involved, it is really preposterous that the letters of Members of Parliament should be opened?

I was only recently made responsible for this administration, but I am looking into all these matters.

Will my right hon. Friend at least ensure that no further excision of letters takes place, as has been going on for some considerable time?

Is not the Foreign Secretary satisfied that Members of Parliament can cope with their own post without the interference of the censors? Is he aware that I recently had a letter censored from Germany, which was merely thanking me for a book which a German civilian had received?