HC Deb 25 February 1957 vol 565 cc829-30
1. Mr. Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will make a statement on the results to date of his activities in co-ordinating Government information services.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Dr. Charles Hill)

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave on Monday, 18th February, to the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson).

Mr. Lipton

Has not the Minister made any progress since then? If his main objective is to quicken the flow of news, will he see that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture is informed, because in many parts of the country a 1s. loaf arrived some time ago, despite misleading statements which he made in the House only last Thursday? Why is it that, since the right hon. Gentleman has held his office as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the news is slowing instead of flowing?

Dr. Hill

I have no doubt that my right hon. Friend will read the hon. Gentleman's Question with ever-decreasing interest.

Mr. Wigg

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the announcement which appeared in the Press about cuts in the strength of the Services—statements which were completely misleading? One does not blame the Press; it is wholly due to the Government's failure to make the Press aware of the truth of the White Papers which were published last week. Was the right hon. Gentleman consulted before the reduced strengths were announced?

Dr. Hill

In the main, that is a question for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, but it does give me an opportunity to say that the cuts to which he refers are, of course, the current reflection of policy announced in October, 1955.

4. Mr. Anthony Greenwood

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has yet brought together the information officers of all Departments to discuss with them methods by which the flow of information through existing channels can be improved.

Dr. Hill

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Greenwood

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he is likely to come to the conclusion that any new channels should be used?

Dr. Hill

As yet I can see no need for any new channels.

Mr. D. Jones

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this is intended to be a two-way traffic? If it is, will he ask the information office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to ascertain in how many parts of the country the 1¾ lb. unwrapped, unsliced loaf already costs 1s. from today?

Dr. Hill

I have no doubt that I am a useful "Aunt Sally" for the hon. Gentleman, but I suggest that he put down a Question to the Minister concerned.