HC Deb 09 December 1941 vol 376 cc1370-1
14. Captain Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the optimistic statements made by the military spokesman in Cairo in the first days of the Libyan campaign regarding the destruction of the Axis armoured forces did harm, both at home and abroad; and whether he proposes to take any steps to prevent a repetition of similar statements?

Captain Margesson

I am in communication with the Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, on this subject.

Sir H. Williams

Can my right hon. and gallant Friend say whether this post has been held continuously by the same person, or can he give us the names of persons who have held this position?

Captain Margesson

No, Sir, I cannot give that information, and, as I say, I am in communication with the Com-mander-in-Chief in the Middle East.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Why should these military spokesmen be anonymous? Why should not their names be mentioned, so that people listening to them will know the value to attach to their statements?

Captain Margesson

It may not always be the same person who makes the statement.

Dr. Russell Thomas

Are the spokesmen actually responsible for making up the military bulletin?

Captain Margesson

That is under the Commander-in-Chief.