§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the dissatisfaction expressed at the marking of despatches to the Commonwealth Government as "Confidential," he can promise that all despatches on public affairs may be published if so desired by the Commonwealth Government for the information of the public in Australia.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETAEY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. CHURCHILL, Manchester, N. W.)
The Secretary of State has received no such request as that contained in my hon. friend's Question from the Commonwealth Government; and it is clear that such a rule as he is seeking to establish would prove absolutely fatal to the freedom of official correspondence in all matters, most of all in those which relate to negotiations with foreign governments.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Has the hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the statements of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth and also of the late Mr. Seddon complaining that despatches which they deemed to be of interest to the Australian public are marked "Confidential?"
§ MR. CHURCHILL
I have. I can assure the hon. Member that the Secretary of State will do everything in his power to meet the wishes of the Colonial Prime Minister in this matter.