HC Deb 09 February 1948 vol 447 cc27-9
47. Mr. Teeling

asked the Attorney-General how many copies of the volumes already published of the Nuremberg trials documents were printed; how many have been sold; where they can be obtained; what steps have been taken to advertise these volumes; what is proposed to be done about those not sold; and how many copies are being printed of the later volumes.

The Attorney-General (Sir Hartley Shawcross)

I must apologise for the length of this reply. I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the official record of the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal which are being published at Nuremberg in English, French, Russian and German, by the Tribunal's direction.

Six volumes out of 35 have so far been published. Of the first five volumes, 10,000 copies were printed in English; 5,000 of these were allocated to this country and the Commonwealth. This allocation was found to be greatly in excess of demand. Accordingly, it was reduced to 1,600 copies for the sixth volume, the latest to be published, and correspondingly fewer copies were printed. The same allocation and printing will be made of subsequent issues. A number of copies of the first five volumes are therefore surplus. As they form part of a broken set, they are of no value and it is therefore proposed to pulp them.

A wide official distribution of this Nuremberg edition has been made both here and overseas. The volumes can be purchased by members of the public at any branch of His Majesty's Stationery Office or through booksellers So far, between 100 and 200 copies of each volume have been sold to the public, and 650 officially distributed. I understand that the volumes were advertised in the usual way in the Stationery Office catalogues.

Mr. Teeling

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise that there is a very large number of people in Universities, colleges, and so on, who really know nothing about these volumes, and who would greatly like to have copies of them for future purposes; that they were not sufficiently advertised; and that, if the number of copies of the later volumes is to be reduced, it will be a bad mistake, because, in the years to come, they will be badly needed?

The Attorney-General

The hon. Gentleman is obviously unaware that, in addition to the official record published by the tribunal itself, His Majesty's Stationery Office published, and are continuing to publish, a verbatim report. A large number of copies of that report has been circulated to Universities and other institutes. The publication of this report was widely advertised in the Press, and there is no difficulty whatever in obtaining copies, either through the Stationery Office or booksellers.

Mr. Teeling

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether the Dominions have applied for and received any of these volumes?

The Attorney-General

Yes, Sir. Included in the figures I have mentioned was a wide allocation in respect of the Dominions.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the reason the public have taken up so few of these publications is probably because history will condemn the Nuremberg Trials altogether, and is this not clear evidence that that will be so?

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