Spectre Of The Marconi Scandal Stalks Budget Leak Inquiry
Monday 4th May 1936
Neville Chamberlain bowed to the inevitable and announced that there would be a formal inquiry into the possbility that there had been a leakage of Budget secrets. The form chosen was a Tribunal under a judge with the power to call witnesses.
The Labour opposition and expressed disappointment that a Parliamentary Select Committee had not been chosen, which they explained by asserting that the honour of MPs and ministers were under discussion. Doubtless they hoped to haul a few of the latter over the coals. They may well have had an inkling that the minister who had most to fear from the inquiry was one of Labour ministers who had broken with most of the Party to support the National government and was thus a marked man in their eyes. The suggestion was squashed by reminding the House that it was a select Committee that had inquired into the Marconi Scandal in 1913 and singularly failed to establish the truth, becoming almost a by-word for cover-up in the process. It was an ominous reminder of how the accustions of ministerial corruption in Marconi had shaken Westminster.