HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 cc1045-6
47. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Prime Minister whether he will re-institute the Political Warfare Executive.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No, Sir. The Political Warfare Executive was established in the last war in circumstances different from those of the present time.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that, although the Political Warfare Executive eventually became the finest weapon of its kind in the world, it took a long time to build it and that we are not likely to get so long a time in world war III? Would he not agree that at present not only Russia but also Egypt are far ahead of us in that form of warfare? Would he not ask the Postmaster-General to look into this as a matter of urgency and make an early recommendation?

Mr. Butler

We have all looked into it together and we think that the arrangements made are the best for the present situation. As for world war III, the actions of Her Majesty's Government have, I think, removed the possibility of such an eventuality.

Mr. Mellish

If the right hon. Gentleman sets up such an executive, will he make certain that he does not make his right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse) its chairman?

Mr. Butler

I should not like to underestimate the special experience which my right hon. and gallant Friend has in this subject.