HC Deb 05 July 1949 vol 466 cc1950-1
29. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will take steps to speed-up the disposal of books which are unwanted by the Army and urgently needed by public libraries.

Mr. M. Stewart

Steps are already taken, in conjunction with His Majesty's Stationery Office, to ensure that there is no avoidable delay in the disposal of books surplus to Army requirements.

Mr. Swingler

Will my hon. Friend investigate this position? As, at the end of the war, his Department had 1,750,000 books in their possession and has since disposed of 250,000, while, during that time, the Army has been reduced from three million to 420,000 men, does this not this constitute a prima facie case against his Department?

Mr. Stewart

My right hon. Friend has already said, in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend, that we have looked into this matter, and disposed of a number of books. If my hon. Friend has in mind a particular demand which is unsatisfied we should be glad to look at it.