HC Deb 21 June 1951 vol 489 cc700-1
45. Mr. Baker White

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that the President of the United States of America has established a Psychological Warfare Board headed by Mr. Gordon Gray, the Secretary of the Army; and what steps His Majesty's Government now propose to take to establish a parallel organisation in this country.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I have been asked to reply. Yes, Sir. I am aware of the setting up of this Board. But I have not yet received details of its function, and can therefore express no view as to the need to set up a parallel organisation in this country. I understand that Mr. Gray ceased to be Secretary of the Army some time ago.

Mr. Baker White

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Board's functions have been fully published in the American Press and that its broad purpose is to counter Communist aggression other than military aggression? Does he not think it highly desirable that we should have a parallel organisation in this country?

Mr. Morrison

I think it is a need that requires to be met and I think we are meeting it. It does not follow that we should do it in exactly the same way as is being undertaken by the United States.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether adequate liaison is maintained between His Majesty's Government and the United States Government on this very important matter?

Mr. Morrison

There is appropriate liaison.

Mr. Profumo

Is the new Minister in charge of these matters looking into the necessity for this sort of organisation being set up again as it was during the war—is he looking into it at the moment?

Mr. Morrison

These things are constantly under examination—[Laughter]— oh, yes, they are—by the appropriate Minister, whoever that may be.

Brigadier Head

When the right hon. Gentleman indicated that this requirement is being met by existing Departments did that refer to the Propaganda Department of the Foreign Office as being an equivalent organisation?

Mr. Morrison

I did not say anything about existing Departments.

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