Each Minister is responsible for the information and public relations work of his own Department. But there are frequently activities in which several Departments are involved and there is thus a need for co-ordination. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, assisted by my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary, is responsible for the co-ordination of the home information services and my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Technical Co-operation is responsible for the co-ordination of the overseas information services.
I am satisfied that my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary is able to apportion his time between his various activities himself.
Is the Prime Minister aware that in some quarters this is regarded as the opening shot in the next General Election campaign? In the midst of an economic crisis, is it not deplorable that a Minister should be taken from an important Department in order to prop up the fortunes of a tottering Government? Is he also aware that this shows a lamentable lack of faith in the ability of Colman, Prentis and Varley to pull an election out of the bag? Finally, has Mr. Colin Hurry been consulted on this appointment?
Is the Prime Minister aware that there are now far too many Ministers responsible in this field, including, according to the Answer he has just given, three Ministers responsible for the co-ordination of Government information? is he planning to have one Minister responsible for co-ordinating the co-ordinating Ministers? Has there been any occasion on which senior Ministers have been successfully co-ordinated by junior Ministers according to this arrangement?