Sir ROBERT BORDEN:
Received from the Secretary of State for_ the Colonies. About the middle of January last I suggested to the British Government, through the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that
it would be desirable to have a weekly resume, Or summary, of the war situation, which should be issued under the authority of the War Cabinet, and which might be published. We had been receiving for some time secret reports, which, of course, could not be made public, and the information set forth in those_ weekly reports was communicated only to members of the Administration, and in some cases to the Prime Minister alone.
We received a reply intimating that the matter would be taken into consideration, and about the end of March we were informed that such a despatch for publication would be sent to us weekly in the early future. These despatches began t-o come in about the end of March, or a little after, and when received they were published as was intended. They were not sent in code, and they were marked as official news for publication. It is understood that one of the Dominions of the Empire made a suggestion about two or three weeks ago that these news summaries were not as valuable as they might be for the reason that they set forth for the most part matters that had already been published in the press of the country. On Saturday last, one of those official news despatches was received in the ordinary course through His Excellency the Governor General, signed, as all these despatches are signed, by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Eight Hon. Walter Long. It was handed out to the press and published in the usual w>ay. Yesterday a further despatch correcting it in one respect was received in the same manner from the same source, and signed in the same way. That also has been given to the press. In communicating to the British Government in January last, we asked that these despatches might be sent to us under the authority of the War Cabinet. 1 do not know, of course, whether or not this particular despatch was sent out under the authority of the War Cabinet. I am content to accept the statement of Lord Beading in that behalf; he doubtless has more information on the subject than I have. What I desire to .make clear to the House and to the country is that the despatch in question was received in the ordinary course under the arrangement alluded to, and purported to be signed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies'. It was received through His Excellency the Governor 'General, and the despatch which corrected it was received in the same man-125
ner through the same source and signed in the same way. My purpose in making this statement is to assure Parliament and this country that if there has been any mistake or misapprehension with regard to this official news despatch it has not occurred here at Ottawa; it has occurred somewhere else.
Subtopic: STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER.