§ 23. Mr. K. Lewis
asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what provisions have been made this year for increased activities by the Overseas Information Services.
§ 34. Mr. Mayhew
asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation how far the proposals for developing the Overseas Information Services recently outlined have now been implemented.
§ Mr. R. Carr
Our overseas information expenditure on recurrent activities, excluding non-recurrent capital expenditure, is £25 million in this financial year; the comparable figure for the year 1963–64 was £23.4 million. Further developments are being undertaken this year particularly in the work of the British Council, with special reference to English language teaching; in the production of television and other films; in the programme for bringing visitors to this country; and in the British Information Services. With permission, I am arranging for a table analysing the increased expenditure to be included in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Lewis
Does my right hon. Friend not agree that the expansion of these services is very helpful to us in making friends for Britain, but could he consider more co-operation with organisations such as the British Travel and Holidays Association which has branches throughout the world and could co-operate with his Department effectively in this field?
§ Mr. Mayhew
While the expansion is welcome, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that there is some danger of the services becoming a bit stereotyped and official? Is he also aware that overseas publicity and visits to and from this country are sometimes less effective when they are formal and official than when carried 1782 out by private organisations and individuals who sometimes deserve his support?
§ Mr. Longden
While I am grateful for the increase in this expenditure, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he agrees that this is an immensely valuable arm of the defence service? Can he persuade the Government to go still further in the near future?
§ Following is the table:
|MAIN ITEMS OF INCREASED EXPENDITURE ON OVERSEAS INFORMATION, 1964–65|
|Activity||(£'000) Increase in expenditure|
|English language teaching||254|
|English language teaching TV films||24|
|Expansion in new areas||282|