HC Deb 10 July 1957 vol 573 cc355-7
19. Mr. Peyton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has now given further consideration to the question of circulating as widely as possible the contents of the United Nations' Committee report on Hungary.

20. Major Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many copies of the United Nations report on Soviet armed intervention in Hungary have been received in this country; how these can be obtained by the general public and at what price; and whether he will now arrange to summarise this report in a White Paper and consider the possibility of making the salient points available in some popular form as well.

Mr. Ian Harvey

My right hon. and learned Friend has reconsidered this matter in the light of subsequent information now available to him with regard to the cost of the publication in this country and arrangements made by the United Nations for its distribution.

So far, about three hundred and twenty copies have been received from the United Nations Secretariat for official use and copies have been distributed to all our posts abroad. It is understood that three hundred and fifty more are arriving shortly for public distribution by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. These cost 14s. and can be ordered through any bookseller.

It has therefore been decided to reproduce, either through the Central Office of Information or as a White Paper, an abridged edition of the report, which will be available at a much cheaper price.

Mr. Peyton

Does my hon. Friend realise how very welcome this decision is? In making it the Government are taking the opportunity afforded by this publication to acquaint people with the true nature and purposes of Communism.

Mr. Harvey

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend for that remark. I should like to make it clear that the publication of this edition by Her Majesty's Government must not be regarded as a propaganda operation. Its object is to make a fuller text of the report available to the general public.

Dr. King

Will the Joint Under-Secretary of State bear in mind, in spite of his last remark, that we do not make enough propaganda on behalf of the free way of life? Will he give consideration to the publication of a cheap and popular edition of this important document, even subsidising it if necessary?

Mr. Harvey

We will look at that suggestion and see what can be done.