§ 57. Mr. G. FABER
asked the Prime Minister whether a large reward will at once be offered by the Government for the discovery and bringing to justice of the person, or persons, who recently issued and secretly circulated a leaflet urging the public not to buy War Bonds?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The answer is in the negative. It has been the general rule for many years not to offer a Government reward for the detection of crime, as it was found that the practice of offering rewards led, in some cases, to the production of false evidence, and in others to the holding back of evidence in the hope that a reward would be offered. Every effort is, however, being made to trace it.
§ 73. Mr. LEES-SMITH
asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the fact that newspapers have a wider circulation 1352 than leaflets, it is his intention to follow up the Regulation that no leaflet relating to the present War can be issued without the approval of the Press Bureau by making a similar Regulation for articles in the Press?
§ 78. Mr. LEES-SMITH
asked the Home-Secretary whether, under the new Regulation requiring leaflets dealing with the War to be submitted to the Press Bureau for approval, the Government will be able to suppress criticism of itself without, as heretofore, being liable to answer for its action before a Court of Law?
§ Sir G. CAVE
The object of the new Regulation is to deal effectively with propaganda in the interests of the enemy. It will not be used in any way to suppress criticism of the Government.
Mr. H. SAMUEL
May I ask whether the new Regulation, requiring leaflets dealing with the War to have the approval of the Censorship, will apply to leaflets published in connection with any by-election. or with a General Election, and will the Regulation be enforced in those cases?
My right hon. Friend is as good a judge as I am of the effect of the Regulation. It is not, of course, in the least desired to use it to hamper the issue of election literature.
§ Mr. TREVELYAN (by Private Notice)
asked the Home Secretary whether the new Regulation under the Defence of the Realm Act is applicable to leaflets which have been published prior to its issue, and which, in many cases, have been distributed for months and even years without any objection being raised to them by this or any preceding Government?
§ Sir G. CAVE
The new Regulation applies to the distribution of leaflets printed before its issue, but I propose to instruct the police to give time for the submission to the Press Bureau of any leaflets already published other than those which are clearly illegal under previous Regulations; and if such leaflets are passed by the Press Bureau, not to insist on the addition of the name and address of the author until existing stocks are exhausted.