HC Deb 18 October 1950 vol 478 cc2033-4
27. Mr. T. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will issue free of cost to literates in the Colonies a booklet in English setting out the shortcomings and recent record of Communist imperialism.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I could not commit myself to promising general action on these lines. The problems arising from Communist propaganda vary widely from territory to territory and are handled according to the particular circumstances in each territory.

Mr. Reid

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in most of these Colonies the Press is completely on one side, and that there is no Press on the other side to answer back and enable the public to find out the truth by comparing the two? Will he not reconsider the matter in the light of these circumstances?

Mr. Griffiths

We are doing our best, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that it is better to handle the matter in the separate territories concerned.

Mr. Eden

Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the suggestion of the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. T. Reid) is a very wise and far-reaching one? Will he not look at it again to see if he cannot do something in the matter?

Mr. Griffiths

I have looked at it, and my own view is that to give a general directive is all right, but the emphasis upon propaganda has to vary from time to time according to the local circumstances.

Air Commodore Harvey

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to supply more finance and personnel to carry out the suggestion put forward by the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. T. Reid).