asked the Prime Minister how many feature writers are employed by the Public Relations Departments of the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry, respectively; and whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a committee, consisting of representatives of these three Departments with an impartial chairman, which, by deciding upon the relative importance to be attached to the news issued to the Press about each of these three Services, will put a stop to harmful comparisons between them?
I am informed that no feature writers in the ordinarily accepted sense of the term are employed in any of the three Service Departments. I do not think that the appointment of a committee such as is suggested by my hon. Friend would be practicable or useful.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there does exist serious rivalry between the Service Departments because the publicity given to each of the Services depends on the ability of these feature writers—or journalists, if they are not to be called feature writers—rather than upon the courage of the men about whom they are writing, with the result that there is a serious disturbance in morale between the Services? Will the right hon. Gentleman really look into the matter, because it is very serious?
If the hon. Member will bring me any details of that, I shall be pleased to look into the matter and discuss it with him. I do not think his suggestion would be practicable.