Ministry of Information (Reorganisation).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 17th September 1940.

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Mr. Adamson:

asked the Minister of Information the plans of reorganisation within the Ministry as proposed by the new Director General; and whether the proposals will increase efficiency with further reductions of the staff employed; and the financial savings which are likely to arise from these changes?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

As the reply is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Adamson:

Will the hon. Gentleman indicate whether there has been a limitation or an extension of the number of Departments?

Photo of Hon. Harold Nicolson Hon. Harold Nicolson , Leicester West

There has been a limitation.

Following is the reply:

The Ministry is being organised in five Departments:

First: that relating to news, photographs, censorship being the continuous day by day work of providing and releasing material for newspapers or radio.

Second: that relating to affairs at Home including in particular public relations, regional administration, home intelligence.

Third: that relating to overseas affairs dealing with the supply of news and information for the Empire, the Americas, and foreign countries generally also countering any misstatement of the enemy.

Fourth: that relating to production —such as films, posters and other publicity, books and pamphlets, exhibitions, the bulk of the work here is in the nature of review and control as it is not intended to undertake production except where other facilities are absent.

Fifth: that relating to general administration such as finance, staff, agreements and arrangements, etc.

In addition, there are two subsidiary divisions, one dealing with the relationship of the Ministry to the B.B.C. and the other dealing with commercial relations in conjunction primarily with the Board of Trade.

In connection with overseas affairs there are offices either in or attached to the missions abroad through which this Department acts.

It is too early yet to say whether the reorganisation is to be regarded as final and satisfactory, but it is hoped by effective co-ordination of the work of the various divisions of the Ministry to secure a more efficient administration of the business. Certain reductions of staff are in progress, and an analysis of the staff of the Ministry in relation to the tasks it has undertaken will be available in about four weeks' time.