HC Deb 16 March 1944 vol 398 cc404-5
69. Mr. Kirby

asked the Minister of Information why he permitted the name of the port from which the Battle of the Atlantic is being directed to be named in a B.B.C. broadcast on 20th February, 1944, and the name of the actual building used for the purpose to be named in at least one newspaper on 23rd February, 1944; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent such vital information being imparted to our enemies in this manner in the future.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information (Mr. Thurtle)

The broadcast to which the hon. Member refers contained nothing that has not long been public property and there was therefore no security objection to its being delivered. The item in the newspaper was a quotation from a published book that had already been passed for security. For these reasons I do not think that it can be said that the enemy derived information of any value from either of these sources.

Mr. Kirby

Does my hon. Friend mean to say that mention, either in the broadcast or in the book to which he referred, caused no breaking of the security rules in disclosing the port from which the Battle of the Atlantic is directed? Cannot he stop that sort of thing happening again?

Mr. Thurtle

On both the question of the broadcast and the statement in the book we had to rely on the Service point of view and in each case the Service was satisfied that no harm would be done by this disclosure.