HC Deb 07 August 1940 vol 364 c214
67. Mr. Walkden

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has yet ascertained the source from which Messrs. Duncans, Limited, of South Shields, obtained the information which enabled them to publish details of the tea rationing scheme some hours before the broadcast by the Minister of Food; what action has been taken against the person perpetrating this breach of confidence; and what steps have been taken to prevent a repetition?

Mr. Boothby

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 30th July to my hon. Friend the Member for Consett (Mr. David Adams). I am informed that the leakage in question took place as a result of a communication to Duncans, Limited, from its parent company. The managing director of Duncans, Limited, admittedly did not take adequate precautions to prevent the information being prematurely disclosed. I am satisfied that there was no deliberate breach of confidence.

Mr. Walkden

Are steps being taken to prevent any recurrence of this happening, in view of the gross unfairness to other traders?

Mr. Boothby

Yes, Sir. Every precaution has been taken, and I do not think there will be any recurrence.

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