HL Deb 09 November 1948 vol 159 cc271-2

2.39 p.m.


My Lords, I rise to ask the first question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have received any information to the effect that the recent Congress of Intellectuals at Wroclaw is to set up a committee to carry on its propaganda in this country; if so, what action will be taken either to prevent or to counteract this propaganda by a branch of the Cominform.]


My Lords, although we have heard recently that an International Intellectual Committee has been set up in Warsaw as a result of the Congress at Wroclaw, we have no information that any committee has so far been formed in this country. The Congress seems largely to have been turned into a propaganda manœuvre. His Majesty's Government will continue to watch the situation.


My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for his reply, I might point out to him that it was settled at Wroclaw itself that they were going to set up committees in the various countries represented. Indeed, I have seen in one organ of the Press a notice that the nominees from this country had already been appointed to a meeting in Paris. Therefore, I would ask the noble Lord whether he would kindly remember the pre-war precedent of The Link, a body which was entirely under totalitarian influence and which I think did a great deal of harm in this country. I hope, therefore, that His Majesty's Government will be adamant against any form of infiltration or propaganda here.


My Lords, it is true, as the noble Lord has said, that the Congress arranged to set up international committees in Paris. But here again I have no knowledge that any move has yet been made to implement this. As I have said, my noble friend may rely on His Majesty's Government to watch closely any developments.


My Lords, would it be of any help to ask the Dean of Canterbury whether he can give any information?


My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord whether he will consider the expediency of convoking a World Congress of Mental Normalists to curb the extravagant pretensions of intellectuals?