§ 7. Mr. HOUSTON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can, consistent with the public safety and without betraying any information of value to the enemy, state who was in command of the East Coast defences against attack from the sea by enemy vessels on or about 15th January; how long this gentleman has been in command of this coast; and who is and has been for the past three months in command of the North-East Coast defences?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
Since the beginning of the War it has been the practice of the Admiralty not to make public the names of naval officers holding important commands, whether afloat or on shore, and it is not considered desirable 1526 to make a departure from this practice. The officer referred to in the last part of the question has held his command for the last twenty-one months.
§ Mr. HOUSTON
That being the case, can the right hon. Gentleman explain why he did not give me this answer before, instead of indulging in an unseemly outburst of simulated indignation?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Can the right hon. Gentleman say why announcements have been made regarding the Dover Command and recent changes in that Command if it is not the policy of the Admiralty to make announcements?