HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 cc446-7
37. Mr. C. Pannell

asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to a leaflet, published by a Fascist body, sent to him by the hon. Member for Leeds, West, which is one of many deliberately left in telephone books in the City of Leeds; and what steps he will take to protect users of Post Office facilities from seditious libels in public places for which he is responsible.

Miss Pike

My right hon. Friend's attention has been drawn to this leaflet.

So far as Post Offices premises are concerned, our staffs try to keep them free from any matter which may be offensive to our customers.

As to the incidents referred to by the hon. Member, I am informed that the proper authorities are keeping a close watch on these people and on their offensive propaganda, and will take prompt action if there is any contravention of the law.

Mr. Pannell

Is the hon. Lady aware that, when I sent this leaflet to her right hon. Friend, I thought that he would consider the matter sufficiently serious to send it on to the Director of Public Prosecutions for him to decide whether there was any ground for an action for seditious libel? Bearing in mind that the leaflet bore the imprimatur of the printers, the Combat Press, of 116 City Road, London, is this not a serious matter which might lead to civil disorder in the City of Leeds? Is not the hon. Lady aware that in the opinion of some of us there is a plain duty on her right hon. Friend to stop this practice?

Miss Pike

The issue is one of sedition, and responsibility for that comes under the Home Office, whose attention has been drawn to the matter and which is keeping a watch on it.

Sir C. Taylor

Can we know what this pamphlet says, and can it be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT?

Miss Pike

This is one of a series of pamphlets and I do not think that any good purpose would be served by following the hon. Member's suggestion.