HC Deb 10 August 1914 vol 65 cc2263-4

May I put a question to the Postmaster-General in reference to the many difficulties placed in the way of cabling between this country and the United States on the part of the correspondents of the great American journals? Since I asked a question on this subject on Saturday I may say that I have received representations both from London and from America in reference to this matter, and I am informed that these messages are censored three times in London, three times at Waterville, and three times on the other side of the Atlantic, and that, in consequence, many thousands of pounds which have been spent by the—


The hon. Member can only ask a question at present; I must ask the hon. Member to follow that rule.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that thousands of pounds which have been spent by these American journals in their anxiety to obtain news of the war for the people of America have been wasted in consequence of the difficulties placed in the way, and may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it would not be desirable in carrying out the work of the Atlantic cable offices that the staffs might be supplemented by the addition of trained journalists?


I have no control at all over the Censor's Department. That is entirely in the hands of the War Office, although the cable officers employed are in the employment of the Post Office itself. Therefore I have no control over the messages for America or other places before they are passed by the Censor. If there has been any delay in the sending of the messages, I will make inquiry, and I shall endeavour to facilitate, as far as I can, the transmission of any message which has passed the Censor.