HC Deb 05 January 1916 vol 77 cc945-6

asked the Prime Minister whether the methods of starring in the agricultural industry under the National Register were divulged before the register was taken; if so, will he state who was responsible; and whether proceedings will be taken under the Official Secrets Act?


The Prime Minister has asked me to reply to this question. The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The latter part of the question does not, therefore, arise.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say how it was that the methods of starring in agricultural districts was divulged, and why they were expressly stated in the Derby Report?


The methods of starring in the National Register were not divulged to anybody. I think the mistake has arisen in consequence of the fact that my Noble Friend, the President of the Board of Agriculture, issued a notice to agriculturists intimating that he had made arrangements with the War Office that certain agricultural employés were to be excluded, and the terms he used were the terms subsequently used in the National Register for starred men.