HC Deb 14 July 1958 vol 591 cc821-2
40. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what date consultations took place between his Department and the Associated Rediffusion company about the proposed exhibition of the film, "Holiday in Sylt"; who initiated these discussions; and why.

Commander Noble

At the invitation of Associated Rediffusion, two Foreign Office officials attended a showing of the film "Holiday in Sylt" on 5th May; this invitation was extended on 30th April, when the company first consulted the Foreign Office about the film. It is not for me to answer why the company in this instance decided to consult the Foreign Office; I can only say that journalists and broadcasters dealing with questions of foreign affairs frequently and naturally do so.

Mr. Swingler

May we know what opinion was expressed by the Foreign Office in view of the fact that the company had engaged to exhibit this film on 8th May and somehow, in the period in between, during which the Foreign Office saw the film, it was suddenly decided to withdraw it? Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman still stick to the view that the Foreign Office had nothing whatever to do with it?

Commander Noble

The Foreign Office officials explained to the company that the film, which was made by the East German authorities, contained deliberate distortions of historical facts in order to serve the interests of Communist propaganda. Whether or not the film was shown was a matter for the company.