HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc14-5
39. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the book called "The Last Days of Hitler" is on his Department's sponsored list of British books; and what other books on the last days of Hitler are allowed to be sold in the British zone of Germany.

Mr. Mayhew

English copies of this book have been placed in the British Information Centres, and I understand that it has been widely read. It has not yet been possible to arrange publication in Germany since the rights are owned by a Swiss publisher who has not been willing to sell them. There is no obstacle to any other objective account of Hitler's last days being sold in the British zone.

Mr. Teeling

Would it be true to say that the rights of a large number of books from this country are being sold to Switzerland to obtain Swiss francs, and that their translation into German is therefore in the hands of Switzerland; and is it also true to say that there is not enough money provided in the British zone of Germany by the Treasury or the Foreign Office to buy these books from Switzerland with Swiss francs, and that the British zone suffers accordingly?

Mr. Mayhew

I can only speak, except with notice, about the particular book to which the hon. Member has referred. In that case, it is not so much a lack of money as the fact that the Swiss publisher concerned wishes to publish the books himself in Germany, and is at present negotiating with the United States authorities about the possibility of opening an agency of his own in the American zone.