HC Deb 27 March 1941 vol 370 cc688-9
40. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, since the suppression of the "Daily Worker," pamphlets of a similar nature are being issued and distributed; how many cases of this kind have been brought to his notice; and what steps he is taking to stop them?

Mr. H. Morrison

This matter is receiving my attention. It would not, however, be right for me to make any further statement at present.

Mr. Bevan

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise there is a general desire that we should not pursue any further suppression of opinion in this country?

Mr. Morrison

I do not want to suppress opinion for the sake of suppressing it, but it is my duty to take any action necessary for the furtherance of the security of the country and the success of the war. My hon. Friend must take it from me that I shall do anything necessary for that purpose.

Sir W. Smithers

Does my right hon. Friend remember that, when he spoke last about the suppression of the "Daily Worker," if my memory serves me correctly, he said that any other publication on similar lines would be suppressed?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, it is the case that under the Regulations, if an effort is made to evade a suppression by bringing out a similar publication, the Secretary of State is entitled to suppress it, and under that provision the matter is under active consideration.

41. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the Communists are using 16-millimetre films, which are not subject to censorship; that they are magnifying them and displaying them in vans; and will he take steps to stop this form of propaganda, which is directed against our war effort?

Mr. Morrison

I have no information that any films which could be described as propaganda directed against our war effort are being shown in the manner suggested by my hon. Friend, but I should be glad to consider any information which is in his possession.

54. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Home Secretary what steps he is taking to pre vent the spreading of Communist propaganda directed against our war effort by means of dramatic societies?

Mr. Morrison

Such information as I have on this subject does not suggest that our war effort is in any way imperilled by the activities of dramatic societies, but if my hon. Friend will let me have the information which has prompted his Question, I shall be glad to have further inquiries made.

Mr. Bevan

In all these cases where the right hon. Gentleman has to consider action, will he take action through the courts?

Mr. Morrison

It depends on the nature of the case. As the hon. Member knows from personal experience, I am always exceedingly tolerant.