§ 12. Miss Burton
asked the Secretary of State for War to publish the official report of the Quartermaster-General concerning the shortage of up-to-date newspapers for British troops in Korea.
§ Miss Burton
Would the right hon. Gentleman clear up this point, because both sides of the House are interested? Is it correct that when the Quartermaster-General returned he said, and I quote from the "Observer":the most welcome present that can be sent to anyone serving in Korea is his … newspaper by air mail."?Does the right hon. Gentleman's reply mean that he is now satisfied that the men in Korea have an adequate supply of up-to-date newspapers?
§ Mr. Head
The answer to the first part of the supplementary question is that the hon. Lady is perfectly correct. No official report was made, but the Quartermaster-General stated that at the Press conference which he held. As a result, the mailing of papers to Korea has increased by 20 per cent. I am not entirely satisfied that the men in Korea have all the newspapers they want but, as I explained to the hon. Lady, if I were to subsidise the newspapers sent to Korea, it would be an immense expense. Indeed it costs £1,500 a ton by air, and newspapers, unfortunately, are very heavy matter for air freight.
§ Miss Burton
Arising out of that reply, may I ask the Minister if, in view of what he said last week, he would be willing to discuss this problem with the newspapers to see if together they could arrive at a solution?
§ Mr. Hamilton
Can the Minister define exactly what he means by the words "up-to-date newspapers"? Is he aware that the Scottish troops in Korea get on a Sunday 145 "Sunday Posts" and nothing else? Would he define the "Sunday Post" as an up-to-date newspaper, since it is at least 100 years out of date?