HC Deb 04 April 1944 vol 398 cc1813-4
68. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Minister of Information whether it was with his authority that the B.B.C. broadcast in the nine o'clock news on Monday an exhaustive account of the Partisan Leader Tito's activities in Yugoslavia to the complete exclusion of any other anti-Fascist leader in that country.

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

No, Sir; as my right hon. Friend has often reminded the House, the News Bulletins of the B.B.C., other than those in the European Service, are not subject to Government control. I understand that the passage referred to was based on a correspondent's accounts of an interview with one of Marshal Tito's chiefs of staff.

Sir T. Moore

This information must come from a Government source, or be authorised by the Government, and, if so, are there no other anti-Fascist forces fighting the Germans in Yugoslavia, except Tito?

Mr. Thurtle

My hon. and gallant Friend is mistaken; this information did not come from any Government source; it came from a B.B.C. correspondent in that area and was not subject to any action by the Ministry of Information.

Sir Alfred Beit

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the Germans do not jam these Serb-Croat broadcasts, in view of the damage they do to the loyal feelings of the supporters of the Yugoslav Government?

Hon. Members


Mr. Thurtle

I am not aware whether these services are jammed or not—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—but I am clear that it is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Information to edit home news in the B.B.C.

Mr. Mathers

Is not the denial of responsibility by the Ministry of Information, for the B.B.C., overdone?

Mr. Thurtle

I understand it is the general wish of the House that we should not interfere with the discretion of the B.B.C. in reporting matters in their home service.

Mr. James Griffiths

Is not my hon. Friend aware that any news of Marshal Tito is welcome in this country?

  1. NEW MEMBER SWORN 12 words