Public Relations Officers

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd March 1948.

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Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby 12:00 am, 2nd March 1948

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will include in his statement on public relations officers the total expenditure on public relations officers to the Coal Board, and the boards of other nationalised industries.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Is the Chancellor aware that when I entered the public service in 1910, we managed to conduct the whole business of this country without the aid of a single public relations officer? A great number are now employed, and surely we are entitled to know what the total cost is, both in the Government service proper and in the nationalised undertakings?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The answer is, "No, Sir." I am not responsible for what the nationalised boards spend on public relations officers.

Photo of Sir John Langford-Holt Sir John Langford-Holt , Shrewsbury

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us where we can get information as to how much money is being expended on this matter?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I imagine that the hon. Member can write to the boards, and if they like to give the information, they will do so.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Is if not a fact that the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his colleagues have powers under the nationalisation Acts to obtain this information if they so desire?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

We have not got the information, and we do not propose to use the powers to obtain it.