§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether it is in accordance with the rules and practice of the service for an officer who is still serving in the Army to bring a civil action with reference to any matter in relation to his conduct in the discharge of his duties until he has obtained the sanction of the War Office authorities in taking this step; whether the actions recently brought against The Times newspaper and the Daily News by Colonel Morgan, in which he obtained verdicts with damages against those papers, were brought at the instigation of he War Office; whether the consent of the War Office was previously obtained by Colonel Morgan for instructing his solicitors to bring an action for libel against the Daily News for its article in the issue of 16th June commenting on the Butler Retort, and was this step taken at the instiga- 368 tion of the War Office; and, if so, will he explain the circumstances in which the War Office gave consent to the bringing of this action or instigated that proceeding.
§ * MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
There is no rule against officers taking legal action to defend their private characters when aspersed. Colonel Morgan informed the War Office of the action he had taken in reference to the articles in The Timesand Daily News. He was not in any way instigated by the War Office to take such action.