HC Deb 09 June 1959 vol 606 cc805-6
38. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary to the Treasury how many information officers have been engaged since the beginning of 1959 by Government Departments, the Civil Service Commissioners, and the Central Office of Information; and how many of them have had journalistic experience.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. J. E. S. Simon)

Thirty-seven information class officers have been recruited through the Civil Service Commission to established posts, 29 of whom were already serving in a temporary capacity. Twenty-six of those certificated had journalistic experience. In addition, the Central Office of Information has engaged 24 information class officers in a temporary capacity of whom 8 have had journalistic experience. The figures for other Government Departments are 8 and 5 respectively.

Mr. Russell

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that Answer. Is he aware that, according to my information, there is no information officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food who has journalistic experience, even as a Press officer? Does he not think that that is wrong, and will he look into it?

Mr. Simon

Not all information class posts require journalistic experience, but I am told that all posts which do so require journalistic experience have been filled by ex-journalists.