HC Deb 13 April 1959 vol 603 cc645-6
54. Mr. Brockway

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make arrangements in the information services to south-east Asia to revert to the practice, in operation before the Suez crisis, of distributing editorial comments critical of the policy of Her Majesty's Government as well as comments which are favourable.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Dr. Charles Hill)

There has been no change of policy in this matter. United Kingdom Posts abroad receive daily summaries of the main trends of editorial opinion in the British Press. The use to which this material is put will naturally vary in different parts of the world.

Mr. Brockway

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the article by the distinguished correspondent of the Manchester Guardian from Malaya in which he makes the statement, after regularly receiving these reports, that this alteration has been made?

Dr. Hill

Yes, I did see Mr. Vernon Bartlett's article of 13th March, despatched by him on 12th March. In that article he referred to the quality of references to Nyasaland and Central Africa problems. He referred quantitatively to the problem, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that there is no change in the policy. I would remind him that the main media for sending out editorial comment are the B.B.C., which sends out a full and impartial selection of editorial comment every day, the agencies, and the foreign correspondents in London. This part of the London Press Service is supplementary.