HC Deb 23 April 1940 vol 360 cc20-1


41. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the assault committed on a photographer member of the National Union of Journalists at Waverley Station, Edinburgh, on 10th March, where he attended at the invitation of the Scottish Ministry of Information to take certain photographs, and where he was struck to the ground, suffering personal injury and damage to his clothing and camera; and, in view of the several incidents of violent resentment which have occurred in Scotland against Press representatives carrying out duties assigned to them, what steps he proposes to take to ensure that, when acting on the official invitation of the Ministry of Information, Service Departments, or in the course of their ordinary duties, such Pressmen will not be molested by Service, police, railway or other officials?

The Minister of Information (Sir John Reith)

I have been asked to reply. My attention was called to the incident. I understand that an explanation and apology have been given by the railway authorities to the journalist concerned. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer to the reply which I gave on 10th April to the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher).

Mr. Woodburn

Would the Minister take steps to consult with other Departments so that the card which is given to journalists, enabling them to take official photographs, will be recognised by all Departments, because there has been a series of unfortunate incidents of this kind which have caused great distress among Pressmen in Scotland?

Sir J. Reith

Yes, Sir. I am glad to be able to tell the hon. Member that negotiations are in progress now with all Departments concerned with just such an end in view as he mentions.

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