Oral Answers to Questions — Forces Book Club

– in the House of Commons on 29th February 1944.

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Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North

asked the Secretary of State for War with reference to the book by Leonard Barnes about the solution of the problem of nationalities in the Soviet Union, which he informed the House on the 16th February 1943 the Forces Book Club proposed to issue, whether he is aware that the Forces Book Club a few weeks later decided, without even seeing the manuscript, not to issue the book; why this decision was made; and whether he will now arrange for the book to be issued.

Sir J. Griģģ:

The Forces Book Club had ceased to exist by the time this book was available for publication.

Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North

Is it not plain that the right hon. Gentleman was led to make a statement on 16th February which has no foundation in fact?

Sir J. Griģģ:

Not in the slightest degree. I said that the two books would be published in future, but within a month the Forces Book Club had shut down subscriptions and it was finally wound up before the second of the two books was available.

Photo of Mr Denis Pritt Mr Denis Pritt , Hammersmith North

Is it not a fact that within three weeks of the right hon. Gentleman saying that the Forces Book Club had decided to issue the book, it decided, without seeing the manuscript, to reject it, and that it did, in fact, reject it?

Sir J. Griģģ:

Not at all.