§ 6. Mr. KING
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a memorandum dealing with the situation in the Balkans, published as having been written by General Howell and since repudiated by him, has been attributed to General Howell in a circular letter sent to all Members of both Houses of Parliament by Professor Burrows and Dr. Seton-Watson; and, seeing that the publication of alleged confidential documents of this kind is calculated to injure national interests and inflict damage on the Departments and public servants concerned, what action it is proposed to take in the matter?
§ Mr. TENNANT
I am not one of those Members of Parliament who have been favoured with a copy of the circular letter referred to in the question. If, as I suspect, my hon. Friend is alluding to the memorandum which was the subject of a 1330 question put to me on the 9th March by the hon. Member for Pontefract, then I would refer him to the answer I then gave. May I add that I welcome my hon. Friend's efforts to secure that the public interest is placed before individual gratification in the matter of the disclosure of official information, though I believe that the memorandum referred to had no official authority and was not a public document. No obstacle will be placed in the way of General Howell seeking any remedy he desires, subject to the exigencies of the military situation.
§ Mr. TENNANT
I do not think that it is the business of the War Office to bring the suggested facts to full light if the document in question was not a public document, and I understand it was not a public document. General Howell has repudiated it. Any remedy that can be sought will be got by him when opportunity occurs. He cannot do it as long as he is in Salonika.