Bristol Aeroplane Company (Depart- mental Report)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information – in the House of Commons on 9th December 1942.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

asked the Minister of Information for what purpose and on whose authority has a confidential Report on the Bristol Aeroplane Company been prepared by officials of his Department; what is the nature of the material contained in this Report; and have Reports of a similar nature been compiled regarding other industrial undertakings?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

It is part of the duties of local officers of the Ministry of Informa- tion to report on matters which are arousing public interest in their region. A confidential report of this kind from the Information Officer of the South Western Region, made nine months' ago, touched on matters concerning the Bristol Aeroplane Company which had attracted public attention, and this was referred to the Government Department concerned.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

Why is a Member of Parliament not allowed to see this Report, which, I understand, was unauthorised by my right hon. Friend?

Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North

I do not authorise all the activities of the Ministry of Information; otherwise, there would be a serious bottleneck. But there are certain confidential jobs which the Ministry of Information does for Government Departments which cannot be made available to Members of Parliament.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

My right hon. Friend is surely aware that this activity on the part of his local officials was not authorised by his Department? They compiled a dossier, which I have asked to see, because I cannot criticise it unless I know the nature of the contents. I beg to give notice that, owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.