HC Deb 13 June 1921 vol 143 cc8-10
4. Mr. HURD

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the interests of economy, he will now dispense with the publicity branch of his Department and rely on the public Press for the dissemination of information as to trade conditions; and, if not, what is the reason for retaining it?


The whole of the work of the Board of Trade is at present under review, and I am unable to anticipate what action may be taken as regards any particular section.


Will they take care in that review that the findings of the Lytton Committee are followed and that any who are retained in this kind of service will be ex-service men.


I will look into that.


What is the annual cost of this branch?


It is quite small, but I have not the figures in my mind.

8. Mr. MYERS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the publicity service is still a part of the Department; if so, how many persons are employed in the service and at what salaries; and whether the functions of this Department include the giving out of special copy to some newspapers in connection with the coal dispute?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The publicity section consists of three people—

  • 1 publicity officer at a salary of £950 and an allowance of £150 per annum for expenses.
  • 1 temporary clerk at a weekly salary of £5 6s. inclusive.
  • 1 shorthand typist at a weekly salary of £3 10s. inclusive.
In addition to their normal work of disseminating information as to trade conditions and other matters arising out of the work of the Board, these officers, during the past two months, have been assisting in bringing to the notice of the public the facts relating to the present coal dispute.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Does that mean that we are paying for ex parte statements, made in an attempt to discredit the miners' case?


I have chosen these words myself.


Is it a fact that this copy is being distributed by the secretaries of the Coalition Liberal and Unionist organisations throughout the country?


I have no knowledge of that. Perhaps the hon. Member will put any further questions down.