HC Deb 03 December 1908 vol 197 cc1637-8

TO ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the Board of Inland Revenue have inflicted a fine of £10 on each of a number of pension officers who have innocently made public the number of claims for pensions received in their districts; that when the attention of the officers was called to the statement that their action was a breach of official regulations they readily admitted their fault and expressed regret; and whether he will take action to modify the severity of the punishment.

(Answered by Mr. Hobhouse.) My right hon. friend is aware of the action taken by the Board of Inland Revenue in punishing certain Excise officers who violated the regulations against communicating to the public Press information derived from official sources. If the officers in question had not expressed their regret for their action, a more severe view would necessarily have been taken of conduct which is subversive of all discipline and tends to bring discredit on the public service. He is not prepared to modify the punishment imposed in these cases.