HC Deb 19 October 1943 vol 392 cc1203-4
35. Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the newly introduced Army Message Form, C. 2136, and to the instructions designed to make it practicable to use this form for messages over civil telegraphs; and, as under these instructions II alterations have to be made to every form so used and another Army form gummed on to each one involving waste of paper, printing, clerical labour and time, will he issue instructions that A.F. C.2136 is unsuitable for messages over the civil telegraphs and should never be used for transmission of such messages?

Sir J. Grigg

The military message form to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers is the one used by the three Services for their telegrams, which are normally handled over Service channels. It has been decided that the Post Office cannot accept military telegrams on the military form as it stands. It is only on very rare occasions that a military telegram has to be handled by the civil telegraph system, and it is then considered more sensible for the Army Signals Service to amend the military form rather than to copy out the whole message once more on a Post Office form.

Mr. G. Jeffreys

Is there any real reason why they should not be ordered, when sending messages over civil telegraphs, to use the civil telegraph forms? Is my right hon. Friend aware that these elaborate alterations on the forms, to turn them into Army telegraph forms, make them the object of derision throughout the Service?

Sir J. Grigg

It only happens very rarely, so I cannot think that they are an object of derision throughout the Service.