HC Deb 10 March 1947 vol 434 cc937-8
28. Mr. Norman Bower

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to a recent bulletin issued by British Information Services in the U.S.A. justifying the political and economic policy of the Minister of Fuel and Power in relation to the nationalisation of the mines and the effort to increase the output of coal; and if he will give an assurance that the practice of issuing partisan propaganda bulletins of this nature through the agency of British Information Services will cease.

Mr. McNeil

The British Information Service does not issue partisan propaganda but factual material to meet the demand for information regarding the programme and policy of His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Bower

Is the Minister aware that the Press extracts that were published show that this was a document of a grossly partisan character, and is it intended to go on spending the taxpayers' money on justifying the Government's policy in foreign countries?

Mr. McNeil

I have carefully examined the document, and I cannot agree that it was partisan. It is a statement of our policy in relation to certain aspects in connection with these affairs.

Mr. Beswick

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the document referred to was a document or propaganda which portrayed this country as it is today and not as it existed 10 years ago?

Mr. Wilson Harris

Can the Minister say whether this bulletin was intended to justify the Minister of Fuel and Power in suppressing a large section of the British Press?

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Will my right hon. Friend say whether he thinks there is anything improper in a British information service abroad making clear to a foreign country the proper objects of British Government policy?

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