§ Sir W. Smithers
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why a confidential letter regarding the future of No. 2 Metal Produce Recovery Depot, Urlay Nook, was addressed by him to the clerk to the Stockton Council; why his Department refused the clerk's request to communicate the information it contained to the rural council, his employers, to whom he is responsible; and in view of the fact that such action on the part of his Department puts the clerk in an untenable position; if he will give instructions that this practice must cease.
§ Mr. W. Edwards
The letter was marked confidential because of the tentative nature of the inquiries, but it contained no restriction on the communication of its contents to the members of the coun- 257W cil. My information is, that on receipt of the letter, the clerk informed the signatory that as it was marked confidential he was not proposing to bring its contents before the council at that stage. He was informed that this was a matter for his own discretion. The third part of the Question does not therefore arise.