HC Deb 15 May 1941 vol 371 cc1277-8W
Mr. McGovern

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that, despite repeated representations to the censorship in Northern Ireland, the Lenten Pastoral of His Eminence Cardinal MacRory, Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, for transmission to the parts of his diocese in Louth and Meath, was held up from 19th February until 3rd March last, when it was released without any explanation by the censor; that this delay caused inconvenience to his clergy and parishioners, as it is the custom to have the Lenten Pastoral read on the first Sunday of Lent, 23rd February, and that his clergy in Eire did not thus have the document for the second Sunday of Lent, 2nd March; and as such treatment is not consistent with the declaration of Lord Halifax, on 25th March, on the Government's war aims, and is likely to be used abroad to discredit Britain's war aims, will he see that an explanation and apology be sent at once to His Eminence?

Mr. Cooper

In view of certain statements contained in the Pastoral, the censorship officer in charge at Belfast, on receipt of the document, referred it to censorship headquarters in London. I consider his action to have been quite correct. A decision in the matter was given in London on the same day that the Pastoral was received, and the delay which unfortunately occurred was due to the slowness of communications from and to Belfast.

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