HC Deb 15 June 1939 vol 348 cc1538-9W
Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to difficulties experienced by the Press in obtaining authoritative information concerning the loss of the"Thetis" and the unnecessary suffering caused by conflicting reports which gained currency in consequence; and whether he is satisfied that an adequate organisation exists at the Admiralty for handling Press relations?

Mr. Shakespeare

The Admiralty Press Section freely gave to the Press all material information available regarding the disaster and the progress of the attempts to save the lives of those in the"Thetis." This information was received at the Admiralty by wireless direct from His Majesty's ships on the scene of the disaster. Fuller information could only have been obtained by making further inquiries from those on the scene, and it was clearly desirable to avoid any action which might have interfered with their concentration on their urgent task. The adequacy of the organisation at the Admiralty for handling Press relations is under examination.