asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the undesirability of civil servants engaging in public controversy with hon. Members, he will instruct his public relations officer to abstain in future from addressing letters to the Press similar to that published in "The Times" newspaper on 3rd January in reply to a letter written by the hon. and gallant Member for Cleveland (Lieut.-Commander Bower).
No, Sir. No controversy with any hon. Member was involved. The letter referred to merely set out the facts, and its terms had my personal approval before it was published.
In this case it was only a question of what the facts were. The letter was a statement of fact. The hon. and gallant Member concerned could have written to me or he could have got me on the telephone. I was available at the time, although the House was in Recess.