HC Deb 26 October 1954 vol 531 cc1739-40
17. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take steps to prohibit the sale of United States comic papers, which are on sale in Glasgow and other cities of Scotland.

21. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the evil effects of certain comic papers now being sold to children and what steps he is taking to prevent or control the sale of such harmful reading matter.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Representations have been received by my right hon. Friend from a number of sources and, in consultation with my right hon. and gallant Friend the Home Secretary, he is giving the matter very careful consideration.

Mr. Bence

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we in this country are being held up to ridicule, since much excellent literature is banned from our libraries because it is said to be obscene while, at the same time, there is nothing more obscene than portraying a human being as a ghoul, as many of these comics do? It is just not understood. Would the Minister take immediate steps to stop this filthy literature circulating amongst the children of this country?

Mr. Hamilton

Can the Minister tell us to what extent he is co-operating with religious and educational bodies on this matter? Whilst we appreciate that his investigations into a solution will naturally take time, will he meanwhile make an appeal to the newsagents to stop handling this stuff?

Mr. Stewart

As the hon. Gentleman and the House know, we are all agreed that this is dreadful literature. I have seen examples, and I think it is horrible. The question of what to do is a difficult one to answer, but I assure the hon. Gentleman that in making our present examination we shall be in contact with all the bodies from whom we expect to get help.