HC Deb 11 March 1958 vol 584 cc228-9
46. Mr. D. Howell

asked the Prime Minister if he will now review the work of co-ordinating public relations at present carried out by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with a view to ensuring that the present system is the best and most economical.

The Prime Minister

I keep all these arrangements under review. I am, however, satisfied that at the present time the existing arrangements for the coordination of information services are effective and economical.

Mr. Howell

Can the Prime Minister give the House any examples of the successful co-ordination of public relations carried out under the personal direction of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to justify his existence?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. The whole structure has been much improved and is working very much better than it was before.

Mr. H. Morrison

Will the Prime Minister ask the Chancellor of the Duchy to look into the question of the Chief Information Officer of the Treasury appearing on television—commercial television, as it happens—with a view to expounding certain facts of an economic character? Will he consider whether it is desirable for information officers in the public service to appear on television any more than that they should give first-person interviews to the Press? Will he take account of the fact that this is a new, and as I think an undesirable, departure in the use of public information officers?

The Prime Minister

This matter had already been called to my attention and I am looking into it. I do not think it is so much a matter of the Chancellor of the Duchy as a matter of general policy for which I am responsible, and of what are to be the Treasury Minutes guiding the duties of civil servants. I am looking into the matter.