Ministry of Information

Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Estimates, 1944. – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1944.

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Photo of Mr Brendan Bracken Mr Brendan Bracken , Paddington North 12:00 am, 29th June 1944

I should think so. I could not imagine a better description myself, but I am bound to tell the Committee that Lord Baldwin, in one of the few witty remarks he made in this House, gave an even better description, when he described your humble servant as "the faithful chela."

We have had a very interesting Debate, and I want to make a sort of summing up. The Ministry of Information has been much over-criticised in the past, and is much over-praised to-day. The future of the Ministry of Information will be, of course, decided by the Cabinet. But also the staff of the Ministry of Information are going to have a say about their future. They enlisted for a war job. They have done it very well indeed, but they are not seeking Government posts. I have had to borrow from their professions and businesses some of the ablest men in this country. I regard it as a piece of arrogance when people say, "These people must be dismissed after the war." But do not be so sure that the Ministry of Information has any desire to live for a long time. I imagine that they would agree with me when I say that I have not come to the House of Commons to bury the Ministry of Information: I have not even come to praise it. I have merely told the facts about the Ministry of Information; and I leave it to the historians, if they have a column or two to spare in their histories, to say whether the Ministry have done a good job in this war or not.