HL Deb 24 June 1941 vol 119 cc489-90

My Lord, I beg to ask the first question standing in my name.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether Admiral Sir Lionel Preston, K.C.B., who in a "War Commentary" recently broadcast by the B.B.C., made reference to "the futile years" when support of the League of Nations was understood to be the basis of our foreign policy, is still a serving officer in the Royal Navy; and whether they will take steps to ensure that public servants do not in future introduce into their published observations, criticism, implied or direct, of the policies adopted by His Majesty's Government.]


My Lords, Admiral Sir Lionel Preston is a retired naval officer who was recalled for service during the war for as long as the Admiralty might see fit to employ him. The observation of Admiral Preston to which my noble friend refers was simply a retrospect which criticised neither the principle of the League of Nations nor the policy of the existing Government. The general rule whereby a serving officer, like any public servant, is not allowed to publish criticisms of the policies of His Majesty's Government is so well known and adhered to that no special steps are necessary to ensure that it is respected.