§ 2.39 p.m.
§ LORD VANSITTART
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.]
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LORD HENDERSON)
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.
§ LORD VANSITTART
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 272 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.
§ LORD HENDERSON
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.
§ LORD RANKEILLOUR
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?