Personnel (Civil Service Rules).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information. – in the House of Commons on 10th July 1941.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

asked the Minister of Information whether all persons employed under him are bound by the usual Civil Service rules?

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Is it not one of those rules that the Civil servants in a Department are not allowed to criticise the Department, and therefore, was it in order for one of the chief officials of the hon. Gentleman's Department to criticise the Government, and say that the Department had been given a pitchfork to deal with a tank?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

The British Civil Service is an organism and not a machine. It owes its vitality to the fact that even its most rigid rules are sometimes violated.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the particular statement was not a proper one to be made by an official of his Department?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

In the circumstances, I think the statement was of public value.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Is it to be understood that in future officials of the Department may make statements of that kind without any restraint?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

A very exceptional official and in very exceptional circumstances.