HC Deb 12 March 1928 vol 214 cc1515-6
69. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for Air, if he can explain how this year's Air Estimates came to be given in considerable and accurate detail in certain newspapers before they were available in the Vote Office for Members of Parliament?

The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Samuel Hoare)

The hon. and gallant Member is, I think, not quite correct as to his facts. The Estimates were available for Members in the Vote Office first thing on Thursday morning and, so far as I am aware, it was on this same day that there first appeared in the Press a certain amount of intelligent anticipation as to their general tenor. It is presumably within the hon. and gallant Member's experience that there is every year some degree of similar intelligent anticipation in the case of the Estimates of all the fighting Services. There has been no question of a departmental leakage.

Lieut.-Commander KENWOR'THY

I did not catch the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, but does he mean to say that there has been no information given out by the Air Ministry about these Estimates before they were in the hands of Members at 10 o'clock on the day in question?


My answer means exactly what I stated, that there has been no question of departmental leakage.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

But, without leakage, has any deliberate information been given out by the Air Ministry in advance of that given to Members of this House?


No. No deliberate information has been given out by the Department.


Is it not a fact that even the hon. and gallant Member for Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) is entirely unable to stop newspaper enterprise?