HC Deb 28 June 1950 vol 476 cc2273-4
32. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why "Winter Song," by James Hanley, has been ban- ned from ships' recreational libraries in the Royal Navy.

Mr. Callaghan

This book has not been banned. It was not bought because of its price.

Mr. Wyatt

In view of the fact that the present selector of books for ships' libraries is the Director of Victualling, would it not be better to get some other officer to buy books for their quality rather than for their weight?

Mr. Callaghan

Literature is food for thought, and the Director of Victualling is perhaps not altogether inappropriate. I am not sure, in view of the state of the modern novel, that it is not a bad idea to buy books by the ounce.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether this book, "Winter Song," was written by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster?

Captain Ryder

Is it not true that the Director of Education has something to say in these matters?

Mr. Callaghan

Instructor lieutenants run the libraries in ships, but the purchase is carried out by the Director of Victualling for convenience.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Could not a copy of this book be put in the Library so that Members can draw their own conclusions as to its suitability for the Navy?

Mr. Callaghan

If the hon. and gallant Member will accept my judgment, I do not think he will find it as interesting as all that.