§ Mr. SWAN
asked the Secretary of State for India whether a director of publicity has been appointed by the Government; what is the salary of this official; what is the estimated cost of the Publicity Department; what will be the duties of the official and the function of the Department; whether the director was a correspondent of several newspapers and news agencies; if so, whether he has severed all connection with them; whether it is proposed that the Publicity Department publish an official newspaper for propaganda purposes; and whether he is aware that there is considerable opposition among the Burmese to the expenditure of public money for propaganda purposes by Government on the ground that they have no control over either Government or the spending of public money?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The Government of Burma, to which the hon. Member presumably refers, has appointed a trained journalist as publicity officer on a salary of Rs.1,500 a month. The total cost of the bureau is put at Rs.22,000 a year, or, when a newspaper is started, Rs.40,320. The director was editor of the "Rangoon Times," but severed his connection with that paper before taking up his appointment. The bureau and paper are intended to explain the policy of the Government. I am aware that the formation of the bureau and publication of the paper have been criticised in the Burmese press.