HC Deb 01 May 1940 vol 360 cc691-2
18. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Minister of Information how many photographs of operations in Norway have been issued through his Department; how many of these are the work of professional photographers; and has he any arrangement with the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry to send official photographers on similar expeditions in the future, in order to facilitate his own task of disproving German propaganda about British decadence?

Sir J. Reith

Seventy-two photographs of operations in Norway have so far been received and distributed by the Ministry, of which 21 were taken by professional photographers officially employed by the War Office, and the rest by Service personnel in the course of Service duties. Other negatives supplied were unsuitable for issue. The arrangements for obtaining these photographs were described by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office to the hon. Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison) on 24th April. The responsibility for the presence of official photographers at the scene of action must rest with the Services concerned. I hope that in future similar or improved arrangements may be agreed between the Service Ministries and the Ministry of Information.

Mr. Bartlett

In view of that reply may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether more cannot be done in this respect, because there is no doubt that the Germans are producing a very great effect in all neutral countries by their photographs; and, further, is it really a good thing from the Services point of view, that we should depend to the extent indicated upon Services personnel for our photographs?

Sir J. Reith

I agree with the hon. Member and the matter is under discussion with the Service Ministers.