PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE (Hansard, 25 June 1951)
HC Deb 25 June 1951 vol 489 cc993-4
45. Mr. Ian Harvey

asked the Prime Minister which Minister is responsible for conducting the activities which are undertaken in this country equivalent to those conducted by the Psychological Warfare Board set up by the President of the United States of America.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

It is unprofitable to seek to draw precise parallels between the machinery of Government in this country and that in the United States of America, and there is no organisation here precisely similar to the Board to which the hon. Member refers.

Mr. Harvey

Does the Prime Minister not feel that in view of the great importance and the technical nature of this subject, it might be as well to take some additional steps in the matter in view of the lack of success so far achieved by the existing organisation?

The Prime Minister

I do not accept the statement of the hon. Member. These matters are dealt with by Departments in the usual way. I do not think that the setting up of a special board would be a good way of doing it in this country, because our methods are rather different from those of the United States of America.

Lord Dunglass

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise—I am sure he does—that in every theatre of the cold war now it is vital to co-ordinate American and British propaganda? Cannot he give us some clearer picture, at any rate, of the reason for turning this down?

The Prime Minister

There has been a debate about it, and if I am asked for more details I will give them. I was asked which Minister was responsible for conducting activities equivalent to those conducted by the Psychological Warfare Board, which is rather a different matter.

Mr. Profumo

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the present machinery has been sufficiently flexible to arrange for any special broadcast to Persia during the present crisis?

The Prime Minister

I should like to see that on the Order Paper