HC Deb 23 April 1951 vol 487 cc31-2
66. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the existing machinery for conducting psychological warfare designed to spread the truth and expose Communist untruth; and what improvements he hopes to introduce.

Mr. Younger

The official machinery consists of the information services of the Foreign Office, Colonial Office and Commonwealth Relations Office together with the services supplied by the Central Office of Information, the whole operating under the direction of the responsible Ministers working in close collaboration. An important part is also played by the overseas services of the B.B.C., who maintain very close contact with these Departments, and by the British Council acting on behalf of the Colonial Office and Commonwealth Relations Office and in consultation with the Foreign Office. As regards the second paragraph of the Question, as the hon. Member was informed on 18th April, these existing arrangements are adequate, and I have no announcement to make regarding improvements at the present time.

Major Legge-Bourke

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the opinion of many people experienced in this matter, the present arrangements are very far from being adequate? Would he say what steps His Majesty's Government are taking to see how the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other defence organisations can be brought into this matter, and, possibly, have the whole of this very important work transferred to them?

Mr. Younger

I think that the question relating to the North Atlantic Treaty goes wholly beyond the Question on the Order Paper, but if the hon. and gallant Gentleman has any specific criticism or suggestion to make I shall be glad to consider it.

Sir W. Smithers

When the hon. Gentleman refers to the B.B.C., will he have a responsible person to censor broadcasts before they are given, because many of the broadcasts have been very Left Wing?