HC Deb 16 May 1944 vol 400 cc15-6
24. Sir Richard Acland

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give an assurance that editors and staff of newspapers printed and circulating among the Forces overseas have full liberty to print what they believe will most interest their readers provided that they give no information to the enemy and discuss no matters that should be raised through normal military channels and that no instruction or advice to a contrary sense has been sent to such editors directly or indirectly through their superior officers.

Sir J. Grigg

As I stated in my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Chester (Major Nield) on 15th February I should desire to interfere as little as possible with these Army newspapers so long as this is compatible with the status of an official Army newspaper. Their editors are obviously and necessarily subject to the general control of the commands in which they are published, but this control is exercised as lightly as possible. No restrictive instructions have been issued on the publication of news. As regards the publication of views, editors have been told that they must avoid support of any political party and that on all issues every effort must be made in leading articles to present fairly and fully both sides of the question, and to leave judgment to the decision of the reader rather than to endeavour to lead opinion by a partial presentation of the facts.