HC Deb 02 December 1920 vol 135 c1434
34. Mr. HURD

asked the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's Government is taking any steps in pursuance of the desire generally expressed at recent Imperial Conferences for improved news services between this country and other parts of the Empire; and whether, in any such services, it is intended to institute any form of Government control or super vision of the news sent or confine the dissemination of subsidised news to any single agency rather than to give equal facilities to all agencies and all authorised newspaper correspondents?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Lieut.-Colonel Amery)

I have been asked to reply to this question. His Majesty's Government are fully in sympathy with the desire that the news service between the United Kingdom and other parts of the Empire should be improved; the steps already taken in this direction are explained in an answer which I gave to my hon. Friend on 22nd November. As regards the last part of the question, His Majesty's Government are as a general principle in favour of granting equal facilities to all agencies and recognised newspaper correspondents, without any control or stipulations as to the character of the news sent, subject always to practical difficulties which may, for the time being, make it necessary for such assistance to be limited in its application and directed to special objects.


Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman now give the House an assurance that in any arrangement for bringing down cable rates with the aid of British State money, these lower rates will be available for all news services?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

I think that the last part of my answer meets that point. From the circumstances of the time we may not be able to carry out the general rule that the lower rates should be given to everyone.

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