§ MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fareham)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the meeting of representative journalists and newspaper proprietors, held at the Royal United Service Institution on the 21st inst., at which there was a unanimous expression of opinion in favour of restricting or controlling the dissemination of news in time of war, and at which a Committee was authorised to confer with the Committee of Imperial Defence, and to consider any Bill that might be drafted with this object in view; and if he can hold out any hopes that His Majesty's Government will be in a position to introduce a Bill dealing with this subject at an early date.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,) Stirling Burghs
The question of restricting the dissemination of news in time of war is being considered by the Committee of Imperial Defence. His Majesty's Government hope to deal with it early next year.
§ MR. ARTHUR LEE
asked if the right hon. Gentleman would consider the desirability of introducing a Bill—not necessarily for passing this session—at as early a date as possible, that the Press might have the opportunity it desired of giving careful consideration to the Government proposals. It was obvious that such a Bill could not be passed without the consent and co-operation of the Press.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I think there are means of communicating the views of the Government otherwise than by introducing a Bill.