At the early stage of its establishment, the Department performed the role of liaison between the British government and the local people. This role became even more important because there were many among the local people who were still illiterate while members of the British administration were generally not conversant with the language and customs of the local people. Thus, staff members of the Department acted as interpreters and liaison officers between them.
The role of the Department became increasingly important in clarifying and disseminating rules and regulations issued by the government to every nook and cranny of the country. The Department was also required by the British government to provide it with information and feedback on the people’s reactions and public reactions and public opinion. In short, the role of the department was to nurture understanding of the people and maintain the stability of the nation.
MOBILE UNITS AND FILM SHOWS
The Department was well known for its mobile units that were conspicuous throughout the country. The functions of the mobile units were outlined in an official directive to the Department dated May 20, 1946 (Department Instruction No. 2). The duties and responsibilities of the Mobile Units were as follows:
- To provide accurate information and proper advice to the public.
- To nurture good relationship between the people and the government as well as to co-operate with local officers.
- To establish good relationship between the people and the Mobile Units of the Department.
- To obtain feedback from the people for submission to the government.
- To submit reports on the relationship between the units and the people.
Film shows were the most popular activities of the Department during those days. In every state, there were Mobile units equipped with 16mm projectors. State Public Relations Officers and staff of the Department were very popular in their respective states due to their duties and responsibilities in delivering speeches and screening films. Usually, the Units would travel to every nook and cranny of the state to show films at locations that would attract large gatherings especially at the school playing fields.