HC Deb 02 March 1948 vol 448 c204
49. Mr. W. J. Brown

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will include in his statement on public relations officers the total expenditure on public relations officers to the Coal Board, and the boards of other nationalised industries.

Sir S. Cripps

No, Sir.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Is the Chancellor aware that when I entered the public service in 1910, we managed to conduct the whole business of this country without the aid of a single public relations officer? A great number are now employed, and surely we are entitled to know what the total cost is, both in the Government service proper and in the nationalised undertakings?

Sir S. Cripps

The answer is, "No, Sir." I am not responsible for what the nationalised boards spend on public relations officers.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us where we can get information as to how much money is being expended on this matter?

Sir S. Cripps

I imagine that the hon. Member can write to the boards, and if they like to give the information, they will do so.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is if not a fact that the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his colleagues have powers under the nationalisation Acts to obtain this information if they so desire?

Sir S. Cripps

We have not got the information, and we do not propose to use the powers to obtain it.