HC Deb 11 February 1980 vol 978 c1057
55. Mr. Winnick

asked the Paymaster General if he intends to make a ministerial broadcast.

Mr. Maude

No, Sir.

Mr. Winnick

Since the Government are so keen to save public expenditure, will the right hon. Gentleman consider making a ministerial broadcast to explainwhy he, as public relations adviser to the Government, is paid out of public funds and not by Conservative Central Office?

Mr. Maude

I am not a public relations adviser to the Government. My job—which previous Governments have also recognised is a necessary task—is to see that the Government information services do not operate merely in the interests of getting the facts of Government policy over to the public, but that they provide an adequate service of information to the press and the media.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Has my right hon. Friend any information on whether the public would prefer to have Labour Party political broadcasts on all three channels at the same time or whether they would rather have a choice?

Mr. Maude

My hon. Friend's guess is as good as mine on that.

Mr. Dalyell

If the right hon. Gentleman is not a public relations adviser to the Government, what the heck does he do? In particular, where is his job specification different from that of Lord Wigg in the Labour Government between 1964 and 1967?

Mr. Maude

I understand that the noble Lord had a job specification which the Government of the day were careful not to reveal to the public.