HC Deb 07 June 1944 vol 400 c1336
23. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Postmaster-General if he will arrange that telegrams announcing the safety or otherwise of service personnel, including prisoners of war, shall be repeated or otherwise checked, in view of the distress caused by messages arriving with a completely contrary meaning.

The Postmaster - General (Captain Crookshank)

Telegraph operators are instructed and trained to take great care to ensure accuracy in the transmission of telegrams, and certain checks are made on all the messages, but I am afraid that Owing to human fallibility it is not possible to eliminate completely the risk of error. I am aware of the case which my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind, and I should like to express my sympathy with the parents in the distress which they suffered.

Sir J. Lucas

While thanking my right hon. and gallant Friend for his reply, may I ask him if he is aware that in this case the local post office spread throughout an entire village and in local factories news which was erroneous? Are officials not supposed to keep these things secret?

Captain Crookshank

I have no evidence of that, but if my hon. and gallant Friend will give me details about such errors I will certainly look into the matter.

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