HC Deb 24 April 1918 vol 105 cc971-2
50. Major Sir JOHN SIMON

had given notice of the following question:

To ask the Prime Minister if he will say on what date Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard tendered his resignation, and on what date the matter came before the War Cabinet, and the resignation was accepted?

Brigadier-General McCALMONT

Before this question is answered, may I point out that hitherto it has always been customary for hon. Members of this House who had commissions to refrain from making use of confidential information, which reached them in the course of their duties, in putting questions or taking part in the Debates of this House which affect the conduct of their superiors, and may I ask whether, in view of that fact, the right hon. Gentleman expects that practice to be continued in view of the question on the Paper?


That is a very large question, upon which I do not think that I should be asked now to give a decision. In the main, it must be left to the good sense and the good feeling of the Members in question. Sir Hugh Trenchard tendered his resignation on the 19th of March to the Secretary of State for the Royal Air Force, who, on 10th and 12th April brought the matter before the War Cabinet. The Secretary of State intimated on 12th April to General Trenchard that he accepted his resignation.


Has the Secretary of State power to accept the resignation without going to the War Cabinet?



51. Sir J. SIMON

asked whether, between the date when General Trenchard's resignation was tendered and the date when it was accepted, the War Cabinet or any member of it ever saw General Trenchard on the subject, and discussed with him the difficulties of his position?


The answer is in the negative.


asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether Major-General Sir H. Trenchard's resignation was tendered and accepted some weeks ago; whether he continued his work temporarily upon being requested to do so; and whether he was consulted before the fact of his resignation was made public?

Colonel GIBBS

The answer to the first part of the question is that the resignation was tendered on 19th March, and accepted a fortnight ago. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative, and to the third part in the negative.