§ Mr. Blaker
The Central Office of Information, on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, arranged 69 facility programmes in the United Kingdom for journalists from 152 different media outlets in 45 overseas countries in 1980. The cost was £50,000.
Facilities were also provided to visiting television teams from abroad ranging from advice and research to the setting up of schedules, locations and other filming requirements. Production liaison officers sometimes accompany such teams during filming. The annual cost of this activity is estimated at £110,000.
164 journalists from 45 overseas countries took part in programmes in the United Kingdom arranged by the sponsored visits service of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The purpose of the facilities was to assist the overseas news media by providing accurate background information on British affairs.
Two British journalists made visits overseas with the assistance of the Overseas Development Administration for the purpose of writing a book and articles on development matters.
Journalists representing the news media and the major newspapers have accompanied my right hon. and noble Friend on visits abroad, but this has been on a repayment basis.