HC Deb 07 May 1952 vol 500 cc374-5
9. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the committee of inquiry into the overseas information and broadcasting services has yet reported; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 5th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. J. Rodgers) on this subject.

Mr. Davies

I have seen that reply, but may I ask the Minister whether this matter is being treated as one of urgency? The debate on this subject took place five or six weeks ago and the committee has been sitting since then. When can we expect some information?

Mr. Lloyd

The important fact is that this inquiry should be carried out satisfactorily and thoroughly, as my right hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Christopher Mayhew

Was it not extremely foolish to make these serious cuts in the information services and then hold the inquiry afterwards? Why was the inquiry not held first to see whether the cuts were needed?

Mr. Lloyd

That is a matter which was fully debated during the debate on the subject.

Mr. John Profumo

Could my right hon. and learned Friend indicate why the Socialist Government did not hold an inquiry last year before the cuts were made?