HC Deb 30 September 1942 vol 383 cc761-2
36. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Information, to what extent are censors authorised to disclose to other Departments the contents of correspondence?

The Minister of Information (Mr. Brendan Bracken)

Censors are not authorised to disclose to other Departments the contents of correspondence except, as regards internal mail, instances of breaches of operational security, and, as regards other mails, certain clearly defined categories of information necessary for the performance by the Department concerned of its part in the war effort.

Sir J. Mellor

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, am I correct in understanding that disclosure is limited to matters affecting security and does not extend, for example, to evidence of minor offences against the ordinary law?

Mr. Bracken

I would like notice of the latter part of my hon. Friend's supplementary Question, but I think his assumption is probably accurate.

Mr. A. Edwards

Is not the Minister aware that the Treasury frequently communicate with people after having received information from this Department?

Mr. Bracken

The postal censorship is of great value, because it enables people who are trying to evade their responsibilities in war-time to be prosecuted.