§ 41. Mr. Stokes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the number of years which must elapse before the publication of historical documents concerning events after the beginning of the war in 1939.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Anthony Eden)
A series of documents covering the inter-war years is now being published. When this work is finished, consideration will be given to the publication of a further series.
§ Mr. Stokes
No doubt the Foreign Secretary will be aware that I have been pursuing this matter in relation to the true facts about the arrival of Rudolf Hess in this country. Will he tell me why some people are apparently allowed access to all secret documents for the purpose of publishing large volumes on the history of the war, no doubt to the profit of themselves, whereas those of us who want to know the true facts are refused access to perfectly innocent documents which surely we have a right to see?
§ Sir A. Eden
The right hon. Gentleman asked me about the publication of historical documents of events after the beginning of the war. I think he would agree that there is a general feeling in the House, after the experience—shall we say?—of the publication of the Yalta documents, that that was not a very good precedent to follow, in the interests of international understanding.
§ Mr. Stokes
If I put another Question down to the right hon. Gentleman, will he give me a more satisfactory answer than the one I got before on the question of Rudolf Hess?