HC Deb 22 November 1920 vol 135 cc57-8W

asked the Prime Minister whether any fresh arrangement is being made or is contemplated with Reuter's Agency for the continued transmission of subsidised news to Canada and other parts of the Empire: and, if so, what is the character of the news to be subsidised, the amount of British public money involved and of contributions by other Governments of the Empire, and the term of the arrangement?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

I have been asked to reply to this question. I would refer my hon. Friend to Class V, 2, page 36, of the Estimate for Foreign and Colonial Services for 1920–1. The only news service at present in operation to which His Majesty's Government contributes is one to the Union of South Africa, the Colonies and Protectorates in East Africa, Malaya and Hong Kong, which has been approved up to 31st December, 1920. The cost of the telegrams on this service is made up as to approximately two-thirds by the Oversea Governments concerned and as to one-third by His Majesty's Government. The news sent relates to events of Imperial interest in all parts of the Empire and Ministerial statements on matters of public importance which, in ordinary circumstances, would not be sent at all, or sent only in a very condensed form. The question of continuing this service after 31st December will come up for review next month. As regard Canada, His Majesty's Government would be glad to see the news service from the United Kingdom improved, and there is reason to think that the Canadian Government take a similar view. Various discussions have taken place, but no arrangements have yet been arrived at.

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