§ 4. Mr. Mayhew
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the overall cost of the overseas information services.
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Dr. Charles Hill)
The estimated cost in 1959–60 is £16,964,140.
§ Mr. Mayhew
In spite of the welcome recent improvement, is the Chancellor aware that this sum is still miserably small compared with the needs and opportunities? Will he assure the House that it is his policy to expand these services in the future, particularly the unofficial kind, the British Council, the B.B.C., and also in appropriate cases to give support to unofficial projects furthering good will and understanding between this country and other countries?
§ Dr. Hill
On the general point, the expenditure on overseas information services has increased in the last three years from £13 million to approximately £17 million. A substantial part of that has gone to the British Council, with particular reference to its teaching of English and its library services overseas. I do take into account the last point the hon. Gentleman mentioned.
§ 5. Mr. Mayhew
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proportion of the cost of the overseas information services is attributable to the British Council, the British Broadcasting Corporation external services, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Colonial Information Services, respectively.
§ Mr. Mayhew
While it looks as though the B.B.C. and the British Council do well, is the Chancellor aware that there is a tendency when we have an overall budget like this for those bodies which have no Minister to speak for them generally to go to the wall? Will he particularly look at the B.B.C.' s position in this respect? Is the Chancellor aware that it looks as though the B.B.C. may have to cut its transmissions this year? I cannot believe that that is really the policy of the Government.
§ Dr. Hill
The hon. Member mentioned both the British Council and the B.B.C. The expenditure in 1959–60 of the British Council is rather more than £5 million. The expenditure of the B.B.C.' s external services is rather more than £6 million. In both cases there has been some increase in the last three years, much greater in the case of the British Council.
§ Mr. Dugdale
Can the right hon. Gentleman explain exactly how far he personally is responsible for these allocations?