HC Deb 16 November 1954 vol 533 cc189-90
4. Mr. Hollis

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will now introduce legislation to ratify the Universal Copyright Convention promoted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I can give no promise of such legislation.

Mr. Hollis

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the British Government have given their support to this Convention, and that everybody will be in a very difficult position if there is not legislation within the reasonably near future?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Yes, I bear these matters very much in mind, but I cannot give any promise of legislation.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Would not this Convention be very greatly in the financial interests of this country by helping with our balance of payments? Would it not also be in the interests of those who write books? Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the distinguished authors on the Treasury Bench, and see if he cannot change his attitude?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I shall make inquiries in what I regard as all the appropriate places.