HC Deb 05 June 1940 vol 361 cc835-6
18. Mr. Davidson

asked the Minister of Information whether the statement broadcast by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry, regarding the possibility and effect of enemy invasion, was authorised for broadcasting by him?

Mr. Cooper

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Davidson

Are we to take it that the Parliamentary Secretary's speech indicated the Government's policy with re- gard to the possibility of and the effect of the steps to be taken during an invasion?

Mr. Cooper

So far as I am aware, there was nothing in his speech indicating policy on the high level, and everything he said had the complete approval of the Ministry of Information.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it the policy of the Government to leave to a Parliamentary Secretary to make an announcement on an important matter which was alarmist and calculated to cause apprehension in the minds of the people? If the statement was important, as evidently it was, why did not the right hon. Gentleman make it himself?

Mr. Cooper

I think it is perfectly legitimate for me to share with the Parliamentary Secretary the duty of making statements from time to time. From the point of view of the country and the Government it is desirable that the minds of the public should be prepared for the possibility of invasion, and that was all that the Parliamentary Secretary attempted to do in that broadcast. I can find no fault with it, nor did the hon. Gentleman or anybody else state that there was anything wrong with it.

14. Mr. Garro Jones

asked the Minister of Information whether he authorised or requested a broadcast of a political or general character, such as two broadcasts recently made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry?

Mr. Cooper

Each of these two broadcasts was both requested and authorised.

Mr. Garro Jones

By whom were the broadcasts requested and authorised?

Mr. Cooper

They were requested and authorised by me.