HC Deb 18 March 1942 vol 378 cc1506-7
45. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister what Ministers will in future constitute the Political Warfare Executive?

50. Major Milner

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now indicate the member of the War Cabinet responsible for the Political Warfare Department?

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will be responsible for policy, subject, of course, to the general decisions of the War Cabinet, but the Minister of Information will be solely responsible for the administration of the Political Warfare Executive. All forms of propaganda will thus be brought under the administrative control of a single Minister.

As a matter of practical convenience it has been agreed that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Information shall be entrusted with the co-ordination of policy and administration on behalf of their respective Chiefs.

Mr. Mander

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the same veil of secrecy will be drawn over the proceedings of this body in future, or shall we be able to learn a little more about what they do?

Mr. Attlee

Quite obviously, where secrecy is necessary it will still be preserved.

Major Milner

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether there will be an opportunity, if necessary in secret, of disclosing the principles on which this De- partment is being run, in view of the considerable dissatisfaction which exists?

Mr. Attlee

Perhaps my hon. Friend would approach the Reader of the House on that question.

Sir H. Williams

Does the secrecy extend to the enormous size of the staff now engaged?