HC Deb 09 May 1944 vol 399 cc1689-90
12 and 13. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Under Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, (1) how many officials in the Dominions Office are charged specifically with the duty of sending material about the United Kingdom war effort to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa and Eire, respectively;

(2) how many officials have been appointed by the Dominions Office in each of the Dominions in order to explain the United Kingdom war effort.

The Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Mr. Emrys-Evans)

The Ministry of Information is the Department responsible for preparing publicity material about the United Kingdom war effort for British Commonwealth countries overseas. It has from the beginning been the agreed practice that the Ministry of Information should not maintain a staff in the Dominions. In the Dominions Office there are two officers dealing with this work. In addition there are seven officers, exclusive of clerical and typing staff, attached to the offices of the United Kingdom High Commissioners in the Dominions and the office of the United Kingdom Representative to Eire. The numbers are: in Canada 3; in Australia 1; in the Union of. South Africa 2; in Eire 1. In the oversea Dominions the United Kingdom authorities receive assistance from respective Dominion Departments of Information in presenting the common war effort just as the Ministry of Information co-operates with the Dominion authorities in this country.

Mr. Bartlett

Would not my hon. Friend agree, in view of the great importance of keeping the Dominions as fully informed as possible, and in view of the great difficulty caused by the inevitable breakdown of ordinary correspondence, visits and so on, that these figures should he increased?

Mr. Emrys-Evans

I would draw my hon. Friend's attention to the last part of the answer. These matters are always under consideration, but I will certainly draw the attention of my noble Friend to his point.