asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is prepared to arrange for public libraries who make application for copies of Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, to be supplied free of charge with one copy each day; or, in the event of his being unable to supply such copies free of charge, whether he can arrange to supply public libraries with such copies as they desire to purchase at a reduced price?
There have been two or three questions oh that Subject within the last week, and I explained that the price of Is. just fails to cover the cost of printing and publication.
2,875 copies of each daily part of the OFFICIAL REPORT of Debates are printed. Of this number, 1,800 are distributed gratuitously to Members of Parliament and for the public service. The average number of copies sold for the first few days of the present Session was 050. Interest at the commencement of the Session, however, is usually above the normal, and it would be safer, therefore, to take last Session's average as the better criterion of sales, namely, 780.
Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the recommendation, made by a Committee of this House 100 years ago, that the Reports of Parliament and Government publications should be published at such a price as will enable them to be within the reach of all the people?
Will the Government take into serious consideration the possibility of making Parliament more popular with the people and giving the fullest possible information as to what proceeds in Parliament?