HC Deb 22 March 1945 vol 409 c983
45. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Prime Minister how many despatches have been received from commanders in the field since the beginning of the war; how many have so far been published and when the remainder will be issued to the public.

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The answer to the first part of the Question is 36, and to the second part 2. There is too much going on at the present time to publish all these despatches. After the German war is over the matter will be reviewed so far as Europe is concerned.

Mr. Bellenger

In view of the serious departure from the traditional practice of publishing despatches soon after they have been received from Commanders-in-Chief, which has hitherto prevailed, can my right hon. Friend say who is responsible for the holding up of their publication; is it a Government decision, or is it a decision of the Minister of Defence?

Mr. Attlee

Naturally it is a Government decision. I am sure my hon. Friend would not want us to be bound by precedent all the time.

Mr. Stokes

What reason is there for not publishing the despatches about the Greek campaign?