Paeliamentary Debates (Official Report).

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 5th December 1922.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Groves Mr Thomas Groves , West Ham Stratford

81.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether arrangements can be made at an early date for the exhibition of the OFFICIAL REPORT of Debates at every public library?

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

86.

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?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

It is open to any public library to purchase the OFFICIAL REPORT, and I can see no adequate ground for placing the charge upon the general taxpayer.

Photo of Mr John Muir Mr John Muir , Glasgow Maryhill

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what was the reason for increasing the price of the OFFICIAL REPORT from 3d. to Is. per day?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

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.

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

If the price were reduced to 3d., would not the sale be increased?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I can send the hon. Member the figures when the price was 3d., and I think he would be astonished to find how few copies were purchased.

Photo of Mr John Davison Mr John Davison , Smethwick

Will the tight hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of limiting the speeches of Members? [Interruption.]

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member will see how popular is that, suggestion. If all Members would adopt it, no doubt it would be possible to get through our business much more quickly.

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

84.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the number of copies of the OFFICIAL REPORT of Debates now being printed daily, and how many copies are being respectively sold and distributed gratuitously?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

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.

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

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?

Lieut.-Commander KEN WORTHY:

Do the copies sold have to pay the cost of the copies distributed to Members?

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I think that is so.

Photo of Mr John Jones Mr John Jones , West Ham Silvertown

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?