HC Deb 27 January 1943 vol 386 c474
15. Mr. Cocks

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware of the difficulty experienced by the Press in obtaining accurate and up-to-date information from their correspondents concerning the political situation, as distinct from the military situation, in North Africa; and whether he will make representations, either through our Minister Resident or in other ways, with a view to improving the flow of such information to this country?

Mr. Eden

I have already been in communication with the Minister Resident on this subject. I understand that during the early stages of the Operation in North Africa the Allied authorities felt obliged, for reasons of military security, to exercise a somewhat strict censorship on outgoing Press messages. I am informed, however, that this censorship has now been relaxed and that newspaper correspondents, equally with radio commentators, are allowed wider discretion in their reports on the political situation. I am assured that in such matters British correspondents receive the same treatment as their American colleagues.

Mr. Cocks

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one great national paper has cabled twice or three times to its correspondent in North Africa and has had no reply whatever? Will he be able to guarantee that newspapers will now be able to get direct information on political matters?

Mr. Eden

I do not know the dates of the incidents to which the hon. Member referred, but I have been in communication with the Minister Resident, and from the replies I am quite clear that the position has greatly improved.