§ Mr. Mander
asked the Minister of Information the present position with regard to the formation of regional committees; the names and salaries of the staff engaged upon this work; the number of committees which it is proposed to form; the names of those already formed; and the nature of their work?
§ Sir J. Reith
It is intended to set up a Regional Advisory Committee for each region if the demand arises. There is only one such advisory committee, that in the North Western Region. Local information committees will also be set up in response to local demand; it is not possible to say how many will ultimately be needed. Twenty-two are already functioning as under:
Stoke and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The formation of committees is part of the general duties of each regional office; and it is not possible to name any officers specially engaged thereon. The function of a Regional Advisory Committee is to advise the Regional Information Officer on any matter of regional information and publicity.1381W
The functions of the local information committees are to assist in carrying out the Ministry's publicity plans, including the organisation of public meetings and lectures, and the distribution of publicity material; to report on the results of the Ministry's publicity; to keep the Ministry through the regional officers in touch with the trends of local opinion; and generally to help to promote an understanding of the national war effort.
§ Sir J. Reith
The Regional Information Officer for the North Eastern Defence Region (which consists of the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire) is Mr. R. K. Bacon. He is in frequent contact with mayors, town clerks, and librarians in the region. There are representatives of local authorities on most of the local information committees. Copies of Ministry publications are regularly furnished to these committees; but not direct to local authorities.