The strength of information staff engaged on publicity and Press office work is primarily a matter for individual Ministers. The review which I mentioned in the reply to my hon. Friend on 25th May last will be completed shortly. If my hon. Friend is comparing staff between Departments he may find it useful to have the figures of the total staff in Departments' information divisions rather than the staff engaged on particular functions, as given in my reply on 25th May. I will, with permission, circulate the information in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he would not agree that there is a most extraordinary discrepancy in the facts that he has given? Is he aware that the Defence Department has 139 Press and information officers yet a major Department like the Home Office can get on with under 20?
I do not think the discrepancy is quite as bad as my hon. Friend may think. What he may have missed is that information staff includes people doing publicity, recruitment, advertising, exhibitions, general internal information, making films and a variety of other information services. Different Departments have quite different needs and these are reflected in the figures.
Following is the information:
|Total Information Branch Posts at 1st December, 1971|
|10 Downing Street||11|
|Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||102|
|Civil Service Department||45|
|Customs and Excise||3|
|Defence (excluding PE)||272*|
|Defence (Procurement Executive)||25|
|Education and Science||40|
|Export Credits Guarantee Department||6|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office (News Department)||24|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Overseas Development Administration)||15|
|Health and Social Security||47|
|Posts and Telecommunications||7|
|Privy Council Office||1|
|Trade and Industry (including Metrication Board)||125|
|Treasury and sub-departments||24|
|Inquiry Offices and Departmental Libraries, where they form part of the Information Branch, are not included.|
|* Includes 133 posts in United Kingdom Commands.|