HC Deb 21 November 1968 vol 773 cc1515-6
36. Mr. Milne

asked the Postmaster-General if he will state the reason for the doubling of the cost of Post Office advertising to £4,000,000 last year; and if he will make a statement on the policy to be pursued in the future.

Mr. Stonehouse

To publicise Giro, and other Post Office services. Our aim is to provide a highly efficient communications service, and advertising campaigns will be used where necessary.

Mr. Milne

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the cost of advertising, while warranted in certain circumstances, is rising too sharply and that the best advertisement which the Post Office can have is the service which it gives to the public? While no one complains about informative advertising, is there not too much prestige advertising paid for by the Department?

Mr. Stonehouse

As my hon. Friend knows, I have given special attention to prestige advertising, the form of which is being changed. I ask him to recognise that there is tremendous public investment in the Post Office, amounting to about £1,800 million. We must ensure that this enormous investment is used to the best advantage. The intelligent use of our services by customers will help us enormously, and our advertising is designed to that end.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that this large expenditure has improved his Department's relations with the public?

Mr. Stonehouse

The Department's relations with the public are very good, despite all the political advantage which the Opposition may try to derive from the recent change in our procedures.