HC Deb 20 March 1945 vol 409 cc638-9
65. Mrs. Hardie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the circular sent him by the Scottish Library Association asking for the removal of handicaps imposed on Scottish public libraries; and if he will introduce legislation on the lines suggested so as to put Scottish public libraries in as favourable a position as libraries in England.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)

When I met representatives of the Scottish Library Association some months ago I explained that, while the proposals in the circular to which the hon. Member refers, seemed to provide a suitable basis for an approach to the Scottish local authorities, it would be necessary, before the Government could consider legislation, for a fair measure of agreement to be reached by the authorities concerned. I have not yet heard the outcome of the local authorities' consideration of the matter.

Mrs. Hardie

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is an increased demand for books, which should be encouraged, and that this great restriction makes it very difficult for the libraries to provide the necessary books?

Mr. Johnson

Probably the hon. Member is aware that the differences between the Library Association and some of the local authorities have been narrowed to about three points, and that these are at present under negotiation.

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