HC Deb 11 December 1934 vol 296 cc203-4
39. Mr. COCKS

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he has made further inquiries into the matter of the correspondence of 20th, 26th and 30th June, 1931, relating to the appointment of an arms salesman; whether the missing letters have now been found; and whether he can make a further statement on the subject?


I have now had the advantage of seeing in the Press copies of the letters to which the hon. Member refers, and of getting into touch with the officers who wrote them. Now that I have seen them, it is quite obvious that they were written as personal, not official, letters, and that is the reason why they were not filed at the War Office. The writer of the letter of 30th June, 1931, evidently did allude to serving officers, but it is neither the policy nor the practice of the Department to recommend serving officers for civil posts of this nature.


Has my right hon. Friend made any inquiries of the then Secretary of State for War as to why he permitted such correspondence?


Is it not a fact that these letters were written when the late Socialist Government were in office?


Yes, Sir, that is so; and, consequently, if the hon. Member still thinks that this correspondence was of an official character, and desires to attach any blame, the blame must be put on someone else and not on us.


Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that I doubt his word?


No, Sir, not in the slightest.