§ 7. General McCALMONT
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether 212 he is aware that British troops on most of the fronts depend mainly upon intercepted German wireless for their general home and foreign news; and whether steps will be taken to ensure that they receive their news through an equally efficient British service?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I have had special inquiry made with regard to this matter from the military authorities in France. English newspapers and the Continental edition of the "Daily Mail" are obtainable in towns behind the lines, and numbers of men take in the papers regularly. The Young Men's Christian Association provides newspapers in all their huts and the troops have their trench magazines. There are also the Divisional and Brigade Summaries which deal mainly with operations on the immediate fronts of the divisions and brigades concerned, and these are circulated to headquarters of battalions. The German wireless is not circulated to the troops. I am afraid that the preparation of a special news sheet to be issued to the troops in the trenches is not practicable, as it would entail the employment of a large staff, would consume a large amount of paper, and its distribution would be extremely difficult.
§ General McCALMONT
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there are several fronts besides the French Front, that this question particularly mentions the importance of those fronts, and that this matter is very important on such fronts as Palestine, where news arrives from German sources several days in advance of that from British sources, and very often leads to misunderstanding?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I may have misunderstood my hon. and gallant Friend's previous question in thinking that it dealt with the French Front. It was a supplementary question. I took the precaution to make inquiries in France. I shall be most happy to inquire about the other fronts.