HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 c1077
59. Viscountess Astor

asked the Minister of Information whether he will take steps to counteract the German propaganda addressed to the Fighting Forces in the Near and Middle East based on false accounts of statements made by the honourable Member for Plymouth (Sutton Division)?

Mr. Thurtle

My hon. Friend is not the first Member of this House to become a victim of mendacious propaganda by the enemy. I think the experience of most Members has been that such lies have been ineffective, and that efforts to counteract them after they have been spoken usually play the enemy's game by drawing special attention to them.

Viscountess Astor

Has any other Member of this House been singled out in communications to the Army, Navy and Air Force prison camps, and even misquoted by Goebbels himself, and is it not the fact that this is really having a bad effect among those prisoners? The hon. Gentleman knows that I have never even thought of saying the things attributed to me.

Mr. Thurtle

I think my noble Friend may have been a special victim in this respect, but she is paying the penalty of Parliamentary fame.

Mr. Cocks

Could not this state of affairs be definitely avoided if for the remainder of the war the noble Lady preserved an iron silence?

Mr. De la Bère

My noble Friend should listen more and talk less.