Oral Answers to Questions — Government Departments (Press Interviews)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd February 1945.

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Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East 12:00 am, 22nd February 1945

asked the Prime Minister if he will consider directing that in the public interest, the political heads of Government Departments, both civil and Service, alone give or authorise Press interviews or, in an emergency when Press interviews or explanations have to be given by individual officers, that their names be not published.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

The best practice is that Ministers of the Crown should themselves expound all matters of Government policy, and that Press interviews by officials should only be given on Ministerial responsibility and after due authorisation by the political chief. Such expressions of opinion by officials would, usually, have regard to technical aspects only. Of course, in an emergency, exceptions may be made. The principle of Ministerial responsibility to Parliament is paramount.