HC Deb 03 May 1948 vol 450 cc891-2
27. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the raising of the ban on foreign literature entering Japan; what steps he proposes to take to enable the speedy transmission of newspapers and books from this country to Japan; and what will be the financial arrangements for the sale of such literature in Japan.

Mr. Mayhew

The Foreign Office has been sending regularly to His Majesty's Liaison Mission in Tokyo 20 newspapers and 130 periodicals, and in addition a number of suitable books. These are distributed to the Japanese and placed in reading rooms by the Civil Information and Education Section of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers' Headquarters. The new regulations permit the despatch from this country of publications direct to Japanese recipients and my right hon. Friend is making arrangements to take advantage of this. In reply to the last part of the Question, foreign publications may still only be sold in Japan for inconvertible yen, but my right hon. Friend, who attaches great importance to the sale of British books, is seeking ways of overcoming this obstacle.

Mr. Teeling

Would those ways be in any way similar to the Foreign Office grants at present allowed for authors having their works published in Germany, because that is not enough?

Mr. Mayhew

I think we are considering that, but I would like notice of the question.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

What books do His Majesty's Government regard as suitable for the Japanese? May a list be placed in the Library?

Mr. Mayhew

If there is a general demand, I will have a list placed there.

Mr. H. Macmillan

May I ask the hon. Gentleman to remember that, patriotic as publishers are, there is a limit to the-amount of inconvertible yen which anybody wants to have?