HC Deb 13 March 1941 vol 369 c1427
62. Mr. Mander

asked the Minister of Information the circumstances in which a broadcast made by Sir Walter Citrine to North America was censored?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information (Mr. Harold Nicolson)

The script of Sir Walter Citrine's talk conflicted with a standing censorship instruction which prohibits, in the interests of national security, the mention of a particular subject. The reasons underlying this prohibition still retain their force, and it would have been unfair to make an exception to a rule which has been loyally accepted by other broadcasters and by the Press. I can only regret that Sir Walter felt himself unable to deliver the broadcast without including the passage in question.

Mr. Blander

In view of the eminent position of Sir Walter Citrine and the great services he has rendered to this country in the United States, is it not very absurd to interfere with his broadcasting?

'Mr. Nicolson

No, Sir; there is no question of the eminence of the broadcaster. The point is merely that he cannot give information which is denied to the Press.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Was not this matter handled by the censorship in a very unfortunate manner? In view of the many complaints about the B.B.C. censorship, will the hon. Gentlemen not - undertake that the whole question will be reconsidered?

Mr. Nicolson

The question is constantly being reconsidered.