HC Deb 21 July 1958 vol 592 cc22-3
32. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the distortions in the interests of Communist propaganda in the film "Holiday in Sylt", to which representatives of his Department drew attention on 5th May; and if they were aware that most of the material in this film came from captured Gestapo archives in the Polish Government's possession and that the makers of the film had offered to show the originals to anyone who wished to inspect them.

Mr. Ian Harvey

In answer to the first part of the hon. Member's Question, I will give one major example to which the Foreign Office officials concerned pointed. A substantial part of the film deals with the Warsaw uprising in 1944; yet no mention is made in the film of the grave responsibilities which lie upon the Soviet Union in respect of that terrible tragedy.

As regards the second part of the hon. Member's Question, I am aware that some of the material used in the film came from captured German archives and that the makers of the film have offered to show the originals to anyone wishing to inspect them. It is also a fact, however, that the film consists of a great deal more than a series of extract from German archives.

Mr. Swingler

Whilst, of course, it is a matter of opinion whether this film gives a complete story, is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that the magazine Illustrated carried an article on 7th June alleging distortion, even faking, in this film but that it had the fairness on 28th June to publish an unqualified apology, having been presented with the facts, and since the Foreign Secretary a week or two ago alleged distortion and the Joint Under-Secretary has produced no evidence of distortion whatsoever in the film, will he now withdraw that allegation?

Mr. Harvey

No, Sir. I have given a very clear indication of distortion. We have given our opinion, and we have no intention of withdrawing it.