Army Council Instructions.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 19th May 1942.

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Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will arrange that copies of Army Council Instructions shall be sent to a Member of Parliament who asks for them?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

If an hon. Member is interested in some particular Army Council Instruction, I am always willing to consider a request from him for a copy of it and should not refuse it without good reason.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Does the Minister realise that when I asked his private secretary on the telephone to ask permission to give me a certain Army Council Instruction, it was refused?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

Perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend will have a word with me afterwards.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Would not the Minister consider putting a complete set of Army Council Instructions in the Library?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

No, Sir, that would not be possible, because a great many of the Army Council Instructions are secret and are not for publication.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is the Minister also aware that I, too, was refused copies of an Army Council Instruction which had already been circulated to hundreds of officers? If Members of Parliament are not supplied on request with copies of Army Council Instructions with regard to matters discussed in Parliament, how can they be certain that such Army Council Instructions carry out the intentions of Parliament as in a recent case it was clear they did not?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I understand that my hon. Friend did have a copy of this particular Army Council Instruction.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

As a matter of fact, I have not been allowed to retain it.