HC Deb 01 August 1944 vol 402 cc1155-6
43. Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that British women war correspondents accredited to S.H.A.E.F. are not employed on equal terms with Dominion and American women war correspondents, he will immediately remedy this discrimination.

Sir J. Grigg

It is the American and Canadian practice to accredit women, but to place considerable restriction upon the facilities they may claim as such. For reasons already stated in an answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) on 1st February we do not give full accreditation to women correspondents. We do, however, allow them, if approved, facilities in the field and for S.H.A.E.F. conferences for accredited correspondents. There is really little difference in the facilities open to British, American and Dominion women correspondents and I understand, moreover, that the present arrangement satisfies the requirements of British editors.

Miss Ward

May I ask whether this satisfies British women war correspondents?

Sir J. Grigg

They are all getting the same facilities, and if they would be better pleased by being called accredited when they are not in fact fully accredited, I will certainly consider it.

Mr. Stokes

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what the word "accreditation" means?

44. Mr. Edgar Granville

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is satisfied that the present method of handing out information from highly placed officers at British headquarters in Normandy to the Press and B.B.C. corre- spondents during the course of operations results in a satisfactory and accurate version being given to the British public; and if he will consider giving facilities to war correspondents to obtain a wider picture of events to be given subject to the requirements of military security.

Sir J. Grigg

A great number of war correspondents are already in France and it is intended that there should be more. As the hon. Member will appreciate, the rate of acceptance depends on proper facilities being available. These facilities are under constant review and as the operation progresses it will be possible to increase the facilities, I hope in accordance with the wishes expressed by the correspondents.

Mr. Granville

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why it is that while the American newspapers contain a fair proportion of operational news pictures and reports the British newspapers contain an unfair proportion of posed news pictures, to which the troops themselves object, and official hand-outs; and can he also say whether the Cairo official spokesman has now turned up again in Normandy?