Oral Answers to Questions — Central Office of Information Material

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1952.

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Photo of Hon. Patrick Maitland Hon. Patrick Maitland , Lanark 12:00 am, 17th June 1952

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to how many overseas information officers and other reference material produced by the Central Office of Information for the Foreign Office, Colonial Office and Commonwealths Relations Office, is despatched; and to what extent such material is used by its recipients.

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

The material is sent to 161 posts, where it is used for too wide a variety of purposes to permit of enumeration within the reasonable compass of a Parliamentary answer. Uses, however, include both the answering of Press and other inquiries about this country, the countering of anti-British propaganda, and the local preparation of information material appropriate to local conditions.

Photo of Hon. Patrick Maitland Hon. Patrick Maitland , Lanark

Can my hon. Friend say on how many occasions overseas information officers have had recourse to this material, and whether they have enough filing clerks to file it?

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

From what we see of their output there is very good evidence that full use is made of this material, which is issued only on the recommendation of the appropriate overseas Department.

Mr. Dugdale:

Does this mean that the Government have now decided that the Ministry of Information does, in fact, serve a useful purpose, in contradistinction to what they thought before?