Heavy Gun (Ex-Minister's Announcement).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 7th July 1942.

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Photo of Sir Edward Keeling Sir Edward Keeling , Twickenham

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he was consulted before the then Minister of Production announced that a new heavy gun mounted on tanks and anti-tank carriages was in excellent production and would penetrate the armour of the German and Italian tanks; and whether he has any knowledge that the enemy had any particulars of this gun before these particulars were so announced?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I do not know what consultations took place between my predecessor and the former Minister of Production in regard to the latter's speech on I2th February. I do not think that this contained any information which was of assistance to the enemy.

Photo of Sir Edward Keeling Sir Edward Keeling , Twickenham

Did not this announcement by Lord Beaverbrook give the enemy four to five months in which to thicken the armour of their tanks?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

While the right hon. Gentleman was at the War Office in February last, was he not aware of any consultation between the then Secretary of State for War and the noble Lord?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

That is contained in my answer. I do not know what consultations took place.

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

Was not this information published in the United States before it was published here?

Photo of Mr Adam M'Kinlay Mr Adam M'Kinlay , Dunbartonshire

I take it that this was, then, one occasion on which the right hon. Gentleman, while still in the Civil Service, was not consulted as to the policy of the War Office?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

It was not a question of the policy of the War Office. It was a question of what should be said in a Debate in another place.