HC Deb 10 December 1956 vol 562 cc30-1
47. Mr. Leather

asked the Prime Minister what action he is taking in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence in regard to pamphlets which are being handed by Egyptian officials to British citizens leaving Egypt asserting that atrocities have been committed by British troops in Port Said.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the pamphlet entitled "Scribe". The House will understand that Her Majesty's Government are unable to prevent the distribution of this false and mendacious propaganda which I am sure the recipients themselves have treated with the contempt that it deserves. We are taking every possible step, through all the publicity media at our disposal, to show up the untruths and misrepresentations which this pamphlet contains.

Mr. Leather

Would my right hon. Friend confirm that the author of this document is in fact not a reputable neutral journalist at all but a man who is both ex-Nazi and ex-Communist, who is known to have betrayed many of his countrymen to the Gestapo during the war and, in fact, is a thoroughly disreputable man?

Mr. Butler

I think it is important to establish the following facts. He was, first of all, a member of the Swedish Brownshirt (Nazi) Party. He was then a volunteer photographer with the German Army in Finland. Then he was connected with an organisation known as the Red Horse League in Norway, about which I would rather not say any more. He then appears to have been invited to Russia in 1945, and was later arrested by the British authorities in our zone of Germany for masquerading as an American journalist. He was deported to Sweden. In the same year he published accounts of conversations in London with members of the British and Polish Governments, which were later shown to be wholly fictitious.

Mr. Gaitskell

Can we be told the name of this unpleasant character?

Mr. Butler

As far as I can pronounce it, it is Per Olow Anderson.