Now I do not want to read into Sir John French's words a meaning that he did not intend to convey, but this passage certainly strikes me, as it has struck many others, as a very definite plea for the presence at the front of duly accredited and responsible war correspondents.
And why not? News could be still censored so that no information of value could reach the enemy. We should not be prejudiced one iota, but, on the other hand, should get prompt and trustworthy news, written by skilled journalists in a fashion that would make an irresistible appeal to the manhood of Britain. And we should be far nearer than we are to-day to learning "the truth about the war."
It has been urged, on behalf of the Press Bureau, that of late matters have been very much improved. My journalistic friends tell me that so far as the actual working is concerned this is a fact. There has undoubtedly been less of the haphazard methods which were characteristic of the early days. But there is still too much of what the Times very properly calls the "throttling" of permissible news, and, in spite of the fact that two despatches a week are now published from Sir John French, we are still in the dark as to the real story of the great campaign. Neither our successes nor our failures are adequately described. We are still not told "the truth about the war."
And I cannot help saying that the deficiencies of the official information are not made up by the tactics of certain sections of the Press. There is too much of a tendency to magnify the good and minimise