HC Deb 21 August 1940 vol 364 cc1300-1
74. Mr. Cocks

asked the Minister of Information whether steps are being taken to inform the French people of the manner in which they have been betrayed from within, and to call upon them to abide by the principles of the French Revolution and its watchword "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity," and to repudiate the acts and authority of the Government of Vichy?

Mr. Cooper

It is the aim of our publicity to inform the French people as fully as possible of the facts of the situation and thus provide them with the material for forming their own opinion of recent events.

Mr. Cocks

In view of the fact that the Germans are making most vigorous efforts to tell the French people that they have been betrayed by Britain, ought not we to tell them that they have been betrayed by the traitors of Vichy?

Captain Plugge

In view of the fact that France owned 26 broadcasting stations operating on 26 different channels, is my right hon. Friend satisfied that a few 15 minutes' periods of broadcast in French on one English channel is sufficient to carry this information to anything but a small sprinkle of French listeners?

Mr. Cooper

As my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chatham (Captain Plugge) is aware, the Germans now possess a great many more transmitters than we do, and in that we are at a disadvantage, and we have to distribute our broadcasting time as best we can. With regard to the Supplementary Question of the hon. Member opposite, we are doing our best to tell the French people the true facts of the situation, and they now have to form their own opinion.

Captain Graham

Would not my right hon. Friend strongly deprecate our pointing out to the French nation the sort of Government we thought they ought to have, however little we may think of the Vichy Government?

Sir T. Moore

Would not French people in this country be the best people to give the information?

75. Mr. Cocks

asked the Minister of Information whether the propaganda undertaken amongst the people of France is submitted to, and receives, the assent of the Foreign Office?

Mr. Cooper

Yes, Sir, there is the fullest consultation.

Mr. Cocks

Is the Minister hampered at all by Foreign Office fears of the results of a popular uprising in France?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is the Minister taking ail measures to ensure as much as possible that this propaganda to France shall be done by Frenchmen who are loyal to our cause?

Mr. Cooper indicated assent.

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