HC Deb 02 July 1968 vol 767 cc1297-8
41. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking to reduce the number of public relations and publicity officials in, or attached to, the home Civil Service.

The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Dick Taverne)

Information officers are subject to the same stringent controls as all other staff of the home Civil Service, and their numbers are kept to the minimum necessary to carry out their essential function.

Mr. Campbell

As the increase in the number of public relations officers has coincided with an unparalleled increase in the disenchantment and disgust of the public with the Government, will the hon. and learned Gentleman make this a priority in the plan to curb the size of the Civil Service?

Mr. Taverne

There is elaborate financial control. The cost of information staff is examined separately, and if one does want proper explanations from Departments, as the public does, it is reasonable that there should be information officers to provide them.