HC Deb 22 February 1912 vol 34 c879W

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that the military correspondent of the "Times," in the issue of 2nd February, quotes a table as to the strength of the Regular Army on 1st October, 1911, purporting to be taken from page 26 of the General Annual Report, and that that Report has not yet been laid before Parliament; and how the military correspondent of the "Times" obtained access to a Report which is not yet available to Members of Parliament?

Colonel SEELY

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The military correspondent of the "Times" obtained the information from the War Office. He was not aware that the figures he quoted had not previously been published, and, by a misunderstanding, this fact was not brought to his notice by the Department concerned. I should add that the figures quoted were not in any sense secret or even confidential; they would, of course, have been supplied to any Member of this House who had applied to me for them. It is regretted that, owing to the misunderstanding to which I have referred, the figures were thus published before they were formally laid on the Table of this House.