HC Deb 25 July 1923 vol 167 cc472-3
The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)

Mr. Speaker, with your leave, and if the. House will allow me, I want to take the earliest opportunity of making a statement to the House.

My attention has been called to certain paragraphs containing vulgar and stupid personal puffs, which were sent to the Press Gallery of the House of Commons yesterday. I find, on inquiry, that they were written and sent by an officer of the Post Office. They were sent without my knowledge or authority. I never saw them until I noticed them in the newspapers this morning.

I authorised the sending of copies of my Estimates speech to the Press, in the usual way, but nothing else. I am taking steps to prevent any recurrence, and nothing will be sent out in future from the General Post Office to the Press, except that which is authenticated by the signature of the Secretary or a responsible official.


Does not the Prime Minister consider that the time has arrived when Publicity Departments within the various Departments of the State should be abolished? They were a war-time proposal.


It is not a question of publicity here.


But is the right hon Gentleman aware that all the Pressmen in the Gallery, or at least half-a-dozen of them whom I met last night, considered that that did come from what is known as the Publicity Department in the Post Office? They came to me about that statement.


I desire to give notice that I will raise this matter, together with the question of other Publicity Departments, on the Consolidated Fund Bill.