Board of Trade (Public Relations and Press Office).

Oral Answers to Questions — Government Departments. – in the House of Commons on 21st May 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

asked the President of the Board of Trade what increase in personnel and salary there has been in the Public Relations and Press Departments of his Ministry as compared with the position before the war?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

The Press work of the Board of Trade before the war occupied part of the time of officers of a branch also concerned with other work. No close estimate of the cost of the Press work as such can therefore be made, but the annual cost of the salaries of the two officers mostly concerned was approximately £800. War conditions have necessitated grave interference with trade and industry, and in order to keep the public informed of the changes involved it was thought desirable to set up a Public Relations and Press Office. Details of the present personnel and the cost were given in the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Epsom (Sir A. Southby) on 29th April, a copy of which I am sending to him.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman think that Public Relations are the duties of Ministers and not the duties of civil servants because they involve matters of controversy?

Photo of Mr Charles Waterhouse Mr Charles Waterhouse , Leicester South

I think it is a duty both of Ministers and civil servants. It is necessary and desirable that Departments should have civil servants whose task it is to keep the public informed of the many changes that have taken place necessitated by the war.