HC Deb 10 March 1881 vol 259 cc712-3

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether his attention has been called to the following extract from the Report of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office:— The distribution (of Parliamentary Papers) and the possibility of effecting improvements in the system now in force, either by the daily circulation to Members of a List of the Papers issued, with a note of their contents for selection or otherwise, are questions lying beyond the province of the Department; but that they are not altogether unimportant your Lordships may gather from a statement that every Member of the House of Commons who served through the last Parliament, and drew all his Papers, received according to a moderate calculation, about a ton of printed matter; and, whether, considering the heavy expenditure incurred by the present system of distribution, and the impossibility of any Member being able properly to digest a ton of such literature, he will consider the advisability of introducing some such reform in the distribution to Members of Parliamentary Papers as is proposed by the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office?


Sir, the arrangements for the distribution of Parliamentary Papers are under the direction of Mr. Speaker, with the assistance of the Printing Committee, whom he consults when necessary. Formerly, all Papers ordered by the House were distributed; but some exceptions are now made. With regard to Papers presented by command, out of 281 such Papers presented last Session, more than 100 were not delivered except upon the application of Members. In a matter affecting so much the Members of the House, I do not think that it is advisable for the Government to make any pro- posals; but that the general arrangements are best left in the hands of Mr. Speaker.