Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign Agents

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th May 1963.

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Photo of Mr Maurice Edelman Mr Maurice Edelman , Coventry North 12:00 am, 16th May 1963

asked the Prime Minister whether he will introduce legislation requiring any individual or body engaged in promoting for reward the concerns of a foreign State or States to register as a foreign agent.

Photo of Mr Maurice Edelman Mr Maurice Edelman , Coventry North

Does the Prime Minister consider it desirable that Britain's public relations men should receive under-cover subsidies in order to promote the interests of countries which might not coincide with those of Great Britain? In those circumstances, will not he study United States legislation precisely on this subject?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

No, Sir. I have been informed of the United States decision. Their position is a little different from ours, because, under their system, when Congressional committees are considering legislation they take evidence direct from interested parties, which we do not do. Furthermore, the hon. Mem- ber will realise that legislation is quite a job to fit into the programme, and I do not think that it is worth while at present.