HC Deb 18 November 1937 vol 329 c577
68. Mr. H. Morrison

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the estirrated annual expenditure of the Government, respectively, on staff and in other respects in connection with publicity services; how many persons are engaged in promoting publicity for the work of Ministers and their Departments; and can he give the analagous information for the financial year 1930–31?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

No staff is engaged for the purpose of promoting publicity for the work of Ministers as such. In the interests of good administration, staffs are employed for providing, where necessary, the public with full and up-to-date information with regard to the work and activities of Departments and in promoting a proper understanding between Departments and the general public whom they serve. Detailed information of these staffs and the expenditure involved is not immediately available but I am having inquiries made, and will communicate with the right hon. Member in due course.

Mr. Morrison

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there is a very definite impression abroad that in recent years publicity men have been employed by the Government, part of whose duties it is to promote the personal and political popularity of Ministers?

Sir J. Simon

If that impression is entertained abroad then I am grateful to the right hon. Member for putting the question, because my answer will dispose of it as being absolutely unfounded.

Major Procter

When the right hon. Gentleman is making an inquiry, will he also see how much is spent on promoting publicity for the chairman of the London County Council?