HC Deb 05 March 1951 vol 485 cc30-1
49. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the inadequate publicity given to the contribution of this country to the combined efforts of the Western Democracies in all parts of the world, he will institute an inquiry to consider methods by which British Information Services in the United States of America can be made more effective.

Mr. Younger

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 12th February to the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Ian Harvey). I do not think, in view of the situation as there described, that an inquiry is needed or would serve any useful purpose.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that American papers have shown an unfortunate lack of knowledge, although not of understanding, of the extent of our efforts, not only at present, but throughout recent years?

Mr. Younger

I think that the British Information Services are very well aware of what a big task they have in this matter. I believe that a great deal of information is made available by them to American agencies. It is not always used, for reasons which are understandable.

Mr. Peter Smithers

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in one of the Press centres of the Middle West, where I was recently, they had never heard of the Chicago Office of this organisation at all? Would he look into the Service's Middle Western organisation?

Mr. Younger

I should like particulars of the instance the hon. Gentleman mentioned.

Mr. Gammans

So far as the Malayan campaign is concerned, have the Government considered the suggestion made on this point in the House the other night, that Malayan rubber planters, tin miners, Malays and Chinese should be invited by the British Information Services to go to America and to give talks and broadcasts there?

Mr. Younger

I should want notice before answering that specific question.

Mr. Peart

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the last Parliament these Services were often attacked by hon. Members of the Opposition?