HC Deb 21 March 1944 vol 398 cc672-3
59. Mr. Bowles

asked the Minister of Supply what safeguards he has proposed to ensure that books collected during the current book salvage drive will not be sold but will really go to the Services or to the repulping factories.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. Sandys)

The disposal of books collected during salvage drives is undertaken by the local authorities. There are two main safeguards against improper use. The first is that all books collected are sorted by special scrutiny committees. The second is that books which are to be used for repulping are as far as possible sent only to authorised waste paper merchants.

Mr. Bowles

Is my hon. Friend aware that I wrote to his Ministry about the resale of two anthracite stoves, it having been discovered that they had been resold by merchants similar to those mentioned in the answer? What arrangements are made to render unusable all articles before they are sold for scrap; and what steps are taken to see that the merchants he has mentioned do not resell in Charing Cross Road or other places books that are intended for salvage?

Mr. Sandys

My hon. Friend asked about books and I did not bring any information about stoves. With regard to the general issue, there can be no guarantee against the theft of these books any more than anything else, but 81,000,000 books have been dealt with, and no evidence has come into our possession which would justify a prosecution.