§ Mr. Granville
asked the Minister of Information whether his Department saw and approved the script of the broadcast talk on the shipping position given after the British Broadcasting Corporation's 9 o'clock news on 16th July; if he is aware that there is amongst the public the impression that the commentary was an official statement representing the opinions of the Government; and if, as the trend of this broadcast conflicts with the public warning issued on 21st July by the United States war shipping administration, he will take steps to give an official picture of the position to warn the public of the seriousness of the shipping situation and to stimulate greater national effort to meet it?
§ Mr. Thurtle
This commentary was given by Mr. H. C. Ferraby, the well-known naval correspondent of the "Manchester Guardian." It expressed his own views and I have no reason to think that the public regarded it as an official statement. The responsibility for broadcasting it belongs to the B.B.C., although by special arrangement the script was referred to the Admiralty for security censorship. With regard to the last part of the Question, the hon. Gentleman will recall the recent decision of the Government not to make any public statement after the shipping Debate.