HC Deb 09 October 1939 vol 352 cc15-6
27. Mr. Walkden

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information whether he is aware of the unsatisfactory style in which the Government's statements for distribution in leaflet form by members of the Royal Air Force have been translated into German; and whether he is now arranging for reliable and competent friendly refugees of journalistic experience who are closely familiar with the language and the popular expressions of the German people to scrutinise the drafts of future leaflets and advise the Ministry thereon?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information (Sir Edward Grigg)

The merits of the style of these leaflets are, of course, a matter of opinion, but I would draw the hon. Member's attention to Field-Marshal Goering's speech on nth September when he said of the leaflets: They are written in good German and it can be seen they come from outcast Germans … and not from Britons. With regard to the second part of the question, this point is receiving sympathetic attention. I can assure the hon. Member that expert advice, including advice from Germans, has been and is being taken in the preparation of the leaflets.

Mr. Walkden

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that on Thursday last there was very sharp criticism in the Press of the nature of some of the leaflets that have been distributed?

Sir E. Grigg

Yes, Sir, but criticism is inevitable. I am afraid that there never can be agreement on the merits of the leaflets. I think I have answered the point put in the question in relation to the German.

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