§ 69. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Secretary of State for Air, if he can explain how this year's Air Estimates came to be given in considerable and accurate detail in certain newspapers before they were available in the Vote Office for Members of Parliament?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Samuel Hoare)
The hon. and gallant Member is, I think, not quite correct as to his facts. The Estimates were available for Members in the Vote Office first thing on Thursday morning and, so far as I am aware, it was on this same day that there first appeared in the Press a certain amount of intelligent anticipation as to their general tenor. It is presumably within the hon. and gallant Member's experience that there is every year some degree of similar intelligent anticipation in the case of the Estimates of all the fighting Services. There has been no question of a departmental leakage.
I did not catch the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, but does he mean to say that there has been no information given out by the Air Ministry about these Estimates before they were in the hands of Members at 10 o'clock on the day in question?
§ Sir S. HOARE
My answer means exactly what I stated, that there has been no question of departmental leakage.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
But, without leakage, has any deliberate information been given out by the Air Ministry in advance of that given to Members of this House?
§ Sir HARRY BRITTAIN
Is it not a fact that even the hon. and gallant Member 1516 for Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) is entirely unable to stop newspaper enterprise?