HC Deb 03 March 1919 vol 113 c34
58 and 59. Mr. HIGHAM

asked the Prime Minister (1) what the Overseas Trade Department has done, and is now doing, to meet the efficient propaganda programme of the United States Government in Allied and neutral countries; (2) who constitute the Overseas Trade Department and what experience have they of scientific methods of propaganda; and what are the results of their work and what did it cost to secure these results?


The primary functions of the Department of Overseas Trade (Development and Intelligence) consist, as its name implies, in the supply of commercial intelligence to British traders and in rendering such assistance as lies within its power to the development of British overseas trade. What is generally known as propaganda has not been one of the main functions of the Department. The Department is a joint Department of the Foreign Office and Board of Trade. In addition to its headquarters staff, a list of the principal members of which can be supplied to the hon. Member if he desires, the Department directs the Commercial Diplomatic Service in foreign countries and the Trade Commissioner Service within the Empire. I have evidence that the work of the Department has had many useful results, but this is not a matter which can be suitably dealt with by means of question and answer. Propaganda work in foreign countries is undertaken by the News Department of the Foreign Office, and proposals are now under consideration for bringing the work of the two Departments more closely into touch with one another. I shall be very glad to have any evidence of the propaganda work to which the hon. Member refers with which he can furnish me.