HC Deb 17 October 1940 vol 365 c824
45. Dr. Haden Guest

asked the Prime Minister what is the position of a Member of Parliament who is also a serving member of one of His Majesty's Forces with regard to speaking at public meetings in his own constituency and giving interviews to the Press on matters affecting his constituency?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the War Office circular letter on this subject, which will give him the information he requires. The same rules apply to hon. Members serving in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.

Dr. Guest

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether, dependent upon the exigencies of the Services, we can really have a guarantee that the letter gives the maximum amount of right of free speech and free expression of opinion?

Mr. Attlee

That is the endeavour in the letter. I discussed the matter myself, when I was on the benches opposite, with the then Secretary of State for War. I think that this really covers the point and gives adequate opportunity to all Members to fulfil their duties, subject to the exigencies of the Services.