HC Deb 24 June 1932 vol 267 cc1429-30

Order for Second Reading read.


I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

This is a short Bill which will, I think, meet with approval in all parts of the House. It is intended to cut down the burden upon the British Museum of the storage of the vast amount of paper that is poured upon that institution every year, and it should afford a certain amount of economy. I think that even on the Opposition benches it will be agreed that one of the surest ways of making paper unavailable is to pile up such masses of it that the finding of any particular document in this mass becomes almost an impossibility. The Royal Commission on Museums and Galleries gave extensive consideration to the position of the British Museum Library and the problems facing it. The annual

the said total deficits on other Grants for Air Services."

accretions to the British Museum include 40,000 books and pamphlets, 100,000 periodicals and 200,000 newspapers. They require an additional mile of shelves every year. It is clear that the accommodation required and the expense of receiving and arranging this enormous in take is prodigious, and, consequently, the Bill makes provision that the obligation of the British Museum to accept copies of all publications should be modified in certain respects which are set out in the Bill. As the problem has been carefully examined by a Royal Commission and is the subject of a unanimous recommendation by the Royal Commission, and as we have followed it very closely in the Bill and the Schedule to the Bill, I hope it may be possible for the House to accept this as a desirable form, and let us have the Second Reading.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a Second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next.—[Major Elliot.]