HC Deb 28 June 1937 vol 325 cc1618-9
4. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information to give the House regarding the anti-British Italian propaganda in Palestine and Arabia; and whether he proposes to protest to the Italian Government against its continuance?

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

His Majesty's Government take strong objection to this anti-British propaganda, and His Majesty's Ambassador in Rome has, on my instructions, more than once made representations to the Italian Government on this subject, the last occasion being about six weeks ago. I myself spoke on the matter to the Italian Ambassador a fortnight since. I am glad to be able to inform the House that the tone of the broadcasts from Bari has lately shown an improvement.

Mr. Morgan Jones

Has any undertaking been given by the Italian Government in this matter?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir; and I am glad that that question has been asked, in order to show the interest that is taken in this country in the matter.

Colonel Wedgwood

Is it not possible for our stations to send out counter-propaganda?

Mr. Eden

We do not like it.

Sir Percy Harris

Is it not entirely against international custom for propaganda to be indulged in by countries with which we are at peace?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Noel Baker

Is it not a violation of international agreement on broadcasting?

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

In view of the importance of this matter, I beg to give notice that I will raise it at an early opportunity on the Adjournment.

14. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make representations to the German Government in respect of the anti-British propaganda campaign at present being conducted in the State-controlled German Press?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir. But I would repeat the Prime Minister's appeal to the Press both at home and abroad for restraint in the present difficult times.

Mr. Henderson

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that these venomous Press attacks are prejudicial to good relations between this country and Germany?

Mr. Eden

That is true of Press attacks wherever they come from.

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