HC Deb 07 December 1961 vol 650 cc185-6W
Mr. Critchley

asked the Lord Privy Seal what will be the extent and effect of the economies which he is proposing to make in information activities directed to the United States of America; and why he is making these cuts.

Mr. P. Thomas

It is proposed from April, 1962, to save £122,000 per annum out of the current cost of these activities which, excluding broadcasting, amounts to just over £525,000 per annum, of which £440,000 per annum is dollar expenditure. The efficiency and devotion with which British Information Services have carried out their tasks are fully recognised, but British Information Services grew to their present size mainly as a result of war-time and post-war circumstances. Faced with the need for economies in Government spending, it was thought that the cuts in Foreign Office Information work could fall most heavily in a friendly country amply supplied through commercial channels with news about Britain and where we had our largest and most elaborate Information organisation.