HC Deb 21 November 1960 vol 630 cc739-40
4. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what specialised training courses are undergone by information officers before their first appointment overseas.

Dr. Hill

Training courses for information officers have been organised by Departments concerned and by the Central Office of Information at intervals during the past two years. Arrangements have recently been made for revised courses, improved in the light of experience, to begin in January. These will be more frequent and will contain a higher proportion of pratcical instruction in newspaper offices, agencies and so on.

Mr. Mayhew

Quite apart from the practical instruction, is sufficient done in the ideological sphere? For example, are these information officers specially trained in the differences between the Soviet, Egyptian and Chinese anti-colonial propaganda? Will they be trained in this, and, if so, where and for how long?

Dr. Hill

In general, I believe that to be the case, but I will send the hon. Member the proposed course which is to start on 1st January. I will be glad to receive any observations which he may have about it.