To Every Officer: From the CAS



To Every Officer: From the CAS


A letter from the Chief of the Air, Staff reminding officers about careless talk.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





One printed sheet


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All members of the Services have been repeatedly warned that careless discussion of Service matters may lead to lost battles and lost lives. Nevertheless, such discussion continues; and you must realize that, as a holder of the King’s Commission, you are individually responsible for preventing leakage of information to the enemy. This responsibility does not end at yourself being discreet; it extends to the taking of positive action to prevent leakage.

If you hear improper or indiscreet discussion of Service matters, you should caution those taking part. If, nevertheless, such discussion is persisted in, you should take the names of those participating and report the incident to the proper authority. This is your clear duty, which you must perform however distasteful it may be. If you fail in your duty in this respect, you may become personally responsible in some degree for the sacrifice of lives.

I would remind you too that morale is a factor of vital importance, and I wish to draw your attention to the damaging effect on morale which can result from rumour and gossip. Stories reflecting on equipment, organization, or personnel, when passed from mouth to mouth, are apt to assume an unwarranted degree of importance, and to spread an impression in no way justified by the original incidents.

Do not spread rumours. They may have been started by the enemy. Not only should you yourself refuse to indulge in rumour and gossip: you should go farther, and to the utmost of your power endeavour to prevent their circulation.

Further, I would mention the question of criticism. Uninformed criticism is of no value, and can do much harm. Before you criticise, therefore, be sure of your facts, and then make your criticism only to a proper and responsible authority.

In all these matters bear in mind first and foremost the interest of your country. Bear in mind the issues at stake. Remember also that the more senior you are, or the more important the position you hold, the greater will be the reliance placed on what you say, and the greater is the responsibility which rests on you.

As an officer of His Majesty’s Forces, you are under a positive obligation to do [several indecipherable words] of those Forces, and also that of your fellow countrymen. The greater the stress the more your fellow countrymen will look to you and rely upon you.

C Portal.

[italics] Chief of the Air Staff. [/italics]


January, 1941.



Great Britain. Air Ministry, “To Every Officer: From the CAS,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 4, 2024,

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