HC Deb 23 March 1943 vol 387 cc1473-4
59. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Information whether, in connection with the panel of Ministry of Information speakers, he will take steps so as to ensure that the speeches they deliver in the various constituencies throughout the country were read and approved by his Department in so far as is possible, in view of some of the confusing and undesirable statements which have been made during the past few months?

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

To require every speaker to submit a script of his speech in advance for approval would be impracticable without a large addition to the Ministry's staff; but every opportunity is taken to discuss with speakers individually the general subject-matter on which they will be speaking.

Mr. De la Bère

As only a very limited number of the speeches are really good, would it not be desirable to limit the enormous number of those speeches so that more supervision could be exercised? The matter really is getting out of control.

Mr. Thurtle

The number of speeches is a different matter. We always offer our speakers good advice as to what they should and should not say. I think my hon. Friend will agree that we should allow a little scope for the inspiration of the moment.

Mr. McGovern

Could not the Ministry of Information supply the speeches of Members of this House?

Mr. Thurtle

I do not think that is a practicable suggestion.