HC Deb 23 July 1918 vol 108 cc1649-50
73. General CROFT

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire was a director of the Trade Division of the Admiralty War Staff during the period when he asked for cabling facilities from the chief cable censor; if he was not a director, who was; and was the director cognisant of the application for facilities by his subordinate?


No, Sir. The director was Captain Richard Webb, C.B., R.N. At the time in question my right hon. Friend was giving assistance to the director as a voluntary worker, and passed on to the chief cable censor at the War Office a communication from the firm of Harris and Dixon, which pointed out that the delay in the exchange of cables with their house in Spain was causing serious delay to Spanish vessels carrying iron ore and foodstuffs to this country and the Allies, and which asked that their cables might in future be expedited.

As already stated in this House by my right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for War, other firms had already been granted these facilities. The hon. and gallant Gentleman heard the statement of the right hon. Member for East Worcester on 24th June, to the effect that, in view of his connection with this firm, he considered that his correct course was not to put forward any recommendation officially. Therefore, the answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.