HC Deb 25 April 1944 vol 399 cc623-4
47. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the publication of a despatch to the New Zealand Government by General Freyberg, G.O.C. New Zealand Corps, on the operations at Cassino; and whether any despatch has been received by the Government from the G.O.C. British Troops.

Mr. Attlee

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "Yes, Sir," and to the second part, "No, Sir."

Mr. Bellenger

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that it is somewhat incongruous that a subordinate commander can send a despatch to his own Government, parts of which are published, and yet the supreme commander sends no despatch? Will he consult the Prime Minister, so that we can have a rather better explanation of why the public are not allowed to see some of these despatches?

Mr. Attlee

The point is that the general officer commanding the troops of a Dominion has the right to report to his own Government in despatches, and the question of despatches being published here is another matter. Perhaps my hon. Friend will put down a specific question on that.

Sir Herbert Williams

Is not the refusal to publish despatches in this war due to a desire to cover up blunders?