HC Deb 06 July 1949 vol 466 cc2121-2
1. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the "Neue Volkszeitung" newspaper has been banned for six weeks by the British authorities; and whether he is aware that the ban adversely affects the election compaign of the Ruhr Communist Party by depriving it of its newspaper during the elections.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

This newspaper has been banned because it recently published an article inciting the Germans to resist Military Government instructions on dismantling. In view of the fact that it was suspended for a month last year for another attack on the Occupying Powers, six weeks was considered to be the minimum penalty which could be imposed this time. The Communist Party has two other newspapers in the Ruhr area which can serve their cause in the election campaign.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that the article complained of, which I sent to the Minister, only criticised the trade union leaders in the area for the attitude they have adopted in connection with dismantling, and said nothing whatever about the authorities or criticised them in any way?

Mr. Bevin

That is the usual Communist ingenuity to achieve their objective.

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