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'Thinly disguised subsidy'

This British subsidy in fact continued until the 1980s in the form of an enhanced payment which the Foreign Office made for its subscription to the Reuters News Service. The excess payment, a thinly disguised subsidy, ceased some time around 1985 when a new subscription rate was agreed. The Foreign Office official responsible for re-negotiating the new market based contract with Reuters expressed surprise at the unusually high tariff the FO had been paying. He claimed he had no records of how the excess payment had first been agreed but he was only too delighted to notch up a significant budget saving. He later became a leading UK ambassador. ■