HC Deb 24 February 1846 vol 84 cc14-5

moved, that a Standing Committee of sixteen Members be appointed to assist Mr. Speaker in the direction of the library, and to whom shall be referred all matters relating thereto.


suggested, that this Committee should be empowered to direct that documents laid before that House be printed in octavo instead of folio. At all events, a trial of the kind might be made, and the convenience of all parties thus consulted.


doubted whether it came within the object he had in view.


hoped that the matter would not be lost sight of by the Printing Committee. He had seen the Sanatory Reports published by private parties in a very cheap and popular shape, with good paper and type: the octavo form was much less bulky and more portable, and by increased circulation much good might often be done. The only material objection he had heard stated was, that tabular returns required folio pages; but the truth was, that if those returns were folded, they would easily be adapted to a smaller size. He did not see why the question should not be brought before the Committee now to be appointed, and they might consider also the point of sending documents of the kind by post.


referred to the interchange of documents established between the two Houses of Parliament and the Chamber of Peers and Deputies in France: the same satisfactory course had been pursued with regard to Belgium; and he saw no reason why the library of the House might not thus be enriched from America and other countries. Most valuable information would thus be placed within the reach of all Members. He also noticed the proposition of the French Government in 1832, respecting an interchange of all the chief works printed in that country and in this, which had led to the negotiation of a treaty, which Talleyrand had called the only intellectual treaty in existence. Even if war were to break out between Great Britain and France, he (Dr. Bowring) saw no ground for interfering with such a convention, which might produce a new era in national feeling.


did not wish now to enter into the large question, but to express an opinion that nothing should be done by the Committee that was not submitted to the House. There were practical difficulties in the way of making the change as regarded Parliamentary and other documents, which were greater than perhaps many hon. Members supposed.

Committee appointed.

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