HC Deb 22 October 1912 vol 42 c1950W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, whether the parents of Walter Charles Rivers, lost with submarine B2, dispatched a wire of inquiry on learning of the disaster at Whitehall; whether notice was immediately taken of it; whether in the eventual reply it was stated that the Admiralty does not reply to telegraphic inquiries unless the reply is prepaid; and, if so, whether he will explain why the Admiralty adopt this way of writing to bereaved parents subsequent to the loss of their son in his country's serviced?


A telegram of inquiry was received at the Admiralty at 3.23 on the afternoon of the 4th instant, and a letter in reply was dispatched the same day. It is not the fact the Admiralty stated that it did not reply to telegraphic inquiries unless the reply is prepaid. I regret that the rule in regard to telegrams was not relaxed in this case, and I have given directions which will, it is hoped, prevent the recurrence of such incidents.