HC Deb 30 October 1919 vol 120 cc878-9

asked fie Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of putting an end to the publication of the series of pamphlets entitled "Reconstructive Problems," and see that the advertisements of these publications issued by the Ministry of Reconstruction are withdrawn; is he aware that thousands of these pamphlets, covered with dust, are being exposed for sale at railway stations; howl many pamphlets have been issued; how many sold; and what is the net loss, if any, on the publication up to 29th September last; will he say if the writers of these pamphlets are paid; and, if so, what is the amount expended on their salaries?


The answer to this question is long and detailed, and I therefore propose, with the permission of my hon. Friend, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The following is the answer referred to:

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answers given in the House by the hon. Member for Saffron Walden to questions asked on this subject by the hon. Member for Nottingham Central on 12th and 14th August last. To this I would add that the publication of these pamphlets ceased when the work of the Ministry of Recon- struction came to an end on 31st August. The series consisted of thirty-eight pamphlets, some of which contained more than one part.

All contracts for advertisements terminated on 3rd October, and any advertisements now being exhibited on bookstalls are displayed by the newsagents in their own interest and at their own expense. The pamphlets were issued on sale or return to the newsagents, and it is open to them to return surplus stock. Moreover, in order to assist the sale of such of the pamphlets as are of a more general and permanent interest, instructions were given on the 21st instant which would have the effect of leaving on sale only thirteen numbers. These are likely to be in demand for some time to come. The total number of copies printed is 3,671,450; of these 2,125,900 were placed on sale, the rest being distributed to the War Office and other Government Departments, to public libraries and educational authorities. No figures of actual sales can be given until unsold copies have been returned, but it is estimated that 50 per cent. have actually been sold. The writers of the pamphlets have been paid only in ten cases, the total fees amounting to £178 10s. We are indebted for the remaining pamphlets to eminent experts and Civil servants.