§ 1. Mr. RICHARD LAMBERT
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs-whether he is aware that an official of the Foreign Office, under his own signature, has recently been writing in a weekly newspaper on the treaty with Roumania, dated 18th August, 1916, which is a secret treaty, and that this official has used inside knowledge in his public writings; whether this official wrote for the newspaper under the authority, or with the approval, of the Foreign Office; and whether the treaty will now be published, so that both sides to a public controversy may be fully informed?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Balfour)
The writer referred to in the question is a member of one of the special organisations forming part of the Foreign Office that have been created during the War with a view to meeting special needs, and he is not a member of the permanent staff of the Foreign Office. It has been ascertained that the information contained in the letter was not derived from official, but from private and other sources, and was in the writer's possession for some considerable time before his services were utilised by the Foreign Office. The official in question is permitted to write for publication in the Press on condition that his writings are submitted to control in the Foregn Office before publication, as was done in the present instance. There can be no question of the publication of the treaty.
§ Mr. D. MASON
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman of the promise of the Noble Lord (Lord R. Cecil) that he might consider the publication of this treaty, and will he see that it is published as a White Paper?
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I do not think the treaty can be published. It is one of the secret treaties, if I remember rightly. I will see about that.