Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Production (in- Dustrial Publicity Posts)

– in the House of Commons on 9th December 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

asked the Minister of Production (1) whether, as the post of Adviser on Industrial Publicity in his Department has been vacant for some time, he will consider the advisability of abolishing it as unnecessary, together with that of deputy, thus freeing the latter officer for service under the National Service (Armed Forces) Acts;

(2) how the post of Deputy Director of Industrial Publicity in his Department was filled; and how many applicants were considered for the position?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I hope shortly to fill the post of Adviser on Industrial Publicity, which I regard as one of considerable importance. Mr. John Rodgers, the officer who now holds the post of Deputy Adviser, was transferred to my Department from the Department of Overseas Trade, after consultation with my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Information. No other applicants were considered.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Is it not the case that the officer referred to in the Minister's reply moves from Department to Department and is always finding a place in which he is immune from military service? Is it not time that this publicity relations racket in the Civil Service was dealt with?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I do not agree at all that this is a publicity racket. This gentleman is performing useful services for the country and is editor of the production section of the bulletin issued by my right hon. Friend and myself every month.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Does not the Minister know that every time this man is given exemption from military service on the ground that he is indispensable in a particular job he is found within three months in another job?