HC Deb 16 November 1970 vol 806 cc833-4
8. Mr. Jay

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will now terminate the grant made from public funds to the British Council for the European Movement, in view of the controversial propaganda carried on by that organisation.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)

No Sir. As has been made clear on previous occasions, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office grant is given to assist the British Council of the European Movement in organising exchanges of views with other Europeans.

Mr. Jay

Is not the Minister aware that this organisation is carrying on propaganda throughout this country with which a great many taxpayers disagree? Though it is entitled to do this at the expense of private subscription, is it not a public scandal that taxpayers' money should be used for this purpose?

Mr. Rippon

The right hon. Gentleman has completely misunderstood the position. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office grant is not available for publicity work directed at opinion in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Blaker

What were the arrangements in relation to this grant when the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) was a member of the Government? Were they not the same?

Mr. Rippon

They were the same.

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