HC Deb 21 June 1939 vol 348 cc2207-9
15. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Prime Minister whether the salary paid to Lord Perth carries with it any pensionable rights?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Bellenger

Why did the right hon. Gentleman answer my question in the negative? Do these special terms apply only to Lord Perth and not to any other holder of the office?

The Prime Minister

There is only one holder of this office and he is Lord Perth.

19. Miss Ward

asked the Prime Minister whether the initiation of British weeks in suitable capitals by the British Council for the purpose of furthering increasing understanding of British ideals and institutions will be undertaken by the Minister of Information?

Mr. Butler

As the Prime Minister indicated in his reply to questions on 15th June, it is not the intention of His Majesty's Government to set up a Ministry of Information in peace time; but I will see that my hon. Friend's suggestion is brought to the attention of my Noble Friend.

Miss Ward

If my right hon. Friend approves of that suggestion. will he make representation to the Treasury for the necessary money to be provided?

Mr. Butler

Should any Anglophil association in any friendly country wish to organise a British Week, the matter will have every sympathy from His Majesty's Government.

46. Mr. De Chair

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the decision to set up a new Department of the Foreign Office to co-ordinate British propaganda in peace time and to appoint a Minister of Information in war time, whether he will allow a day for discussion of the Resolution placed on the Order Paper by the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk last November urging the appointment of such a Minister at once?

[That this House is convinced that in the propagandist conditions of the modern world, the British Cabinet in our democracy should include a full-time Minister of Public Relations who, without other Departmental preoccupations, could speak authoritatively on all major aspects of Government policy, who would be able to address mass meetings in all parts of the country, especially during Parliamentary recesses, without fearing that his absence from Whitehall would interfere with his supervision of a great spending Department as is the case with most Ministers, and who would, as the result of his continuous contact with the public in all parts of the country, be able to represent in the Cabinet the opinion of the people on all important national issues.]

The Prime Minister

I am afraid that I can hold out no hope of a special opportunity being given for the discussion of the Motion standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Norfolk. In this connection I would refer him to the answer which I gave on 15th June in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut.-Commander Fletcher) and the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson).

Mr. De Chair

While appreciating the fact that my right hon. Friend cannot give time for discussion of a Private Member's Motion, does not this raise very wide issues which the House has not had an opportunity to discuss? Will there be an opportunity of discussing the whole question of establishing a Ministry of Information in peace time?