HC Deb 21 February 1940 vol 357 cc1341-2
48. Sir H. Croft

asked the Prime Minister whether he has consulted with the Leaders of the Opposition as to the advisability of all Ministers and Members of Parliament, when broadcasting during the war, refraining from raising political issues which are calculated to divide the nation or which are repellent to the inhabitants of the British Colonial Empire; and, if not, whether he will consider the possibility of arriving at an honourable understanding on this subject?

The Prime Minister

Conversations have been held with Leaders of the Opposition parties regarding the arrangements for broadcasts by Ministers and Members of the Opposition, but the content of a broadcast is a matter for which each individual speaker must accept personal responsibility.

Sir H. Croft

In view of the general unanimity of purpose among all parties in the House, is it not possible that something further might be done to prevent an apparent division on what may be minor issues, but what may be political issues to the country as a whole?

The Prime Minister

That is not a matter for me.

Sir A. Knox

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a statement was made about Amritsar which has been proved by British judges and jury to be libellous?

Mr. Stephen

Is there any censorship of the speeches made by various Members of the Opposition?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. Not as far as I am aware.