Government Public Relations

  • Kenneth Hudson


When people use the term ‘Government Public Relations’, they may be referring to four quite separate things. First, they may mean, if the country is Britain, the publicity service of Transport House, if the Labour Party is in power, or of the Conservative Central Office, if control of the nation’s affairs at the moment lies with the Conservative Party. The Parties run their own propaganda organisations which are financed from Party and not public funds. Secondly, there are what a Director of the Central Office of Information, Sir Robert Fraser, once described as ‘the Government’s own relations with the public, the quality of the personal lines with the people which the Ministers of any Government must have, and the goodness or badness of which will be determined by the flair, personalities and the programme of the men who form the Administration’.1 As Sir Robert goes on to point out: ‘Government Public Relations in this sense existed long before anyone had thought of Directors of Public Relations or Official Information Services. If you had said to Disraeli or Gladstone or Joseph Chamberlain, “You are faced with an acute problem of public relations”, they would not have understood what you were talking about. They conducted their own relations with the public and expected to do so as part of their political leadership.’


Public Relation Pension Scheme Labour Party Modern Politics British Politics 
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  1. 6.
    Richard Rose (ed.), Politics in England Today Faber, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Walburga von Raffler-Engel, ‘We do not talk only with our mouths’, Verbatim: the Language Quarterly Vol. IV, No. 3, December, 1977, p. 1.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    David Butler, ‘Political Reporting in Britain’, The Listener, 15th August, 1963.Google Scholar

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© Kenneth Hudson 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Hudson

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