Books and Stationery

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th February 1946.

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Photo of Mr Ralph Morley Mr Ralph Morley , Southampton 12:00 am, 14th February 1946

asked the Minister of Education if she is now in a position to state what improvement there has been in the supply of books and stationery to schools under her jurisdiction.

Photo of Mrs Lucy Middleton Mrs Lucy Middleton , Plymouth, Sutton

asked the Minister of Education what proportion of the prewar supplies of text books, atlases and note books, respectively, is now available for the use of schools; and what steps are being taken to augment the heavy shortages that still exist in most areas.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

I regret that I have no precise information regarding the improvement in the supply of school books and stationery, or the proportion of prewar supplies now available for the use of schools. I understand, however, that in the next licensing period, the paper quota for books will be at least 70 per cent. of the 1939 figure, and with the continued use of wartime economy standards in printing this quantity of paper should enable a very high proportion of the prewar supplies of books to be produced. Educational book publishers also have the opportunity of sharing in a special reserve of paper, earmarked for the printing of important books which they cannot produce from their ordinary quota. Further, I understand that 750 printers are to be offered release under the Class B scheme. I hope, therefore, that there will soon be an appreciable improvement in the supply position.

Photo of Mr Ralph Morley Mr Ralph Morley , Southampton

Can my right hon. Friend say if a proper proportion of the printing trade operatives recently released under Scheme B is being allocated for the purpose of producing school books?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

That question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

When are the Government going to tackle this problem with determination, which they have not done so far? The schools are simply bereft of the books required for the minimum of instruction.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

If the hon. and gallant Member had listened to my answer he would have seen that we have tackled it with determination.