HC Deb 19 November 1940 vol 365 cc1857-8W
Captain Plugge

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether diplomatists representing neutral countries in Great Britain are at the present time entitled to use cipher or code messages in communicating with their respective governments; and how many such diplomatists use such codes and cyphers?

Mr. Butler

On the outbreak of war His Majesty's Government availed them- selves of the powers which are accorded to all signatories under Article 27 of the International Telecommunications Convention of 1932, to exercise the right of censorship over telecommunications. In order to minimise the inconvenience of censorship to the diplomatic representatives of foreign states in this country, they have been permitted to exchange telegrams in code, cypher or any language with their respective governments, provided (a) that they are certified by the actual signature of either the diplomatic representative himself, or a representative of his staff empowered by him so to act, and (b) that every telegram includes the official designations in plain English or French of both the addressee and the sender. It is the normal practice of diplomatic representatives to communicate with their governments in code or cypher, and there is no reason to believe that those representatives to whom this facility has been extended do not avail themselves of it.

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