Forces, Aden (Casualties)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford 12:00 am, 12th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will take steps to see that information either by print or photograph of members of Her Majesty's Forces in Aden being injured in combat is not released before the next of kin is informed.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

We release the names of serious casualties only after the next of kin have been informed. Where the Press have free access to incidents, they cannot be prevented from publishing photographs and information about them.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

Cannot the hon. Gentleman make some arrangement to try to persuade the Press not to print photographs or to show them on television or to give names, as happened in the case of a consituent of mine, because next of kin suffer great anxiety when this happens?

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's position, but normally the Press is very responsible and frequently inquires of the Army first before publishing, names. Fortunately, in two reports in the Press recently, the incident was of a relatively trivial nature.