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.
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.