HC Deb 20 March 1972 vol 833 cc1047-8
1. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will cause an investigation to be made to ascertain how and in what way Mr. Roland Cribben, the business correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, was able to publish in that paper on the morning of Friday, 3rd March, 1972, full details of the rise in fuel prices etc., as contained in his statement made to the House of Commons on Monday, 6th March, 1972.

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. John Davies)

No, Sir.

Mr. Lewis

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain that answer? Is he aware that the full details of his intended statement on the Monday were published in the Daily Telegraph on the Friday? That could not have been intelligent anticipation because precisely what the Minister said on the Monday was recorded in that newspaper. Is the Secretary of State aware that it is typical of all information emanating from the Government for the Press to be tipped off long before even Parliament knows what is happening?

Mr. Davies

I disagree with that analysis of the situation. There were many speculations by different sections of the Press, one of which may have got nearer the mark than the others.