HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 cc1115-6
72. Mr. Williamson

asked the Minister of Information if he is aware of the demand for British newspapers and periodicals in Czechoslovakia; that few British newspapers, books or periodicals are obtainable; and if he will take immediate steps to remedy this situation.

Mr. E. J. Williams

A recent improvement in the air service has enabled me to increase the supply of newspapers to Czechoslovakia which now stands at 1,400 copies of daily and 1,000 of Sunday papers; the possibility of further increases is being pursued. So far, transport limitations have prevented the despatch of books and periodicals in quantity, but a few copies go to the Press Attache for special distribution.

Mr. Williamson

Has there been any improvement during the last three months?

Mr. Williams

Yes, Sir, a reasonably substantial improvement.

Captain Francis Noel-Baker

Will the Minister bear in mind that there is this thirst for British literature in all the countries of liberated Europe, and that it is, not being met at the present time?

Mr. Williams

I most heartily agree, but the problem is one of transport, and we are trying to face up to it.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Is my right hon. Friend aware that travellers who are returning now from Czechoslovakia say that Britain's point of view in Czechoslovakia is completely blotted out by comparison with American ideas, literature and newspapers?

Mr. Williams

No, Sir, I do not accept that. Our Press Attaché has been home during the last week, and he does not confirm that statement.

Mr. Driberg

Could my right hon. Friend say if this is the last Question that the Minister of Information will ever answer in this House?