§ Mr. Gammans
asked the Secretary of State for Air if he is aware that the names of some of the passengers who were killed in the R.A.F. Dakota which crashed in Hong Kong on 26th September appeared in the Malayan newspapers on the same date, and why these names were disclosed to the Press before the relatives had been informed.215W
§ Mr. de Freitas
This accident occurred at Hong Kong on 25th September. I am not aware of a premature official publication of the casualties but a local Press report giving some names appeared in various newspapers both in the Far East and in this country on 26th September. The Air Ministry notified the relatives of casualties in this country by telegram on the morning of the same day, 26th September. Subsequently a full list of casualties was issued for publication in the newspapers on 27th September.
It is our policy, in which the Press as a rule cooperate, to do our utmost to avoid any premature publication of names. I am very sorry that this was not achieved in the present case, and that additional distress was caused as a result.