asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that the sinking of the hospital ship "St. David" was announced by the B.B.C. before information as to survivors had been sent to relatives; and whether, in order to avoid unnecessary suffering and anxiety on the part of relatives, he will ensure that in future news of this description is not broadcast until all next-of-kin have been advised of the fate of the men travelling on a ship that is sunk.
Sir J. Griģģ
I have been asked to reply. In relation to incidents of this kind, every endeavour is made to defer a public announcement until the next-of-kin of casualties have been informed, but it is not always possible to ensure such deferment, especially when the sinking of a ship is widely known. In this case the news was broadcast from Naples to the United States on 25th January. The B.B.C. repeated this broadcast, which they were free to do.