HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc765-6
1. Mr. Clark Hutchison

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what expansion has been made in the British Council Library Services overseas as promised in Command Paper No. 685 of March, 1959.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Dr. Charles Hill)

In 1959–60, the British Council's expenditure on Library Services will be about £250,000 greater than it was in 1958–59, that is, just over double.

In consultation with the Governments of India and Pakistan, nine new libraries have been set up or are being planned in these countries. Provision is being made for students to borrow books for the duration of a course or session. About 70,000 books and 339 additional subscriptions to periodicals have been provided by the Council for their libraries in India and Pakistan since 1st April, 1959. Plans are being made to open new libraries in a number of other territories.

I will, with permission, circulate the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hutchison

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for the reply, may I ask him whether he can state the exact amount of money that the Council is spending on presentations and gifts of books to libraries overseas?

Dr. Hill

The amount for libraries in the current year is £480,000 and for presentations £72,000.

Following are the details: In India, one new library is in process of being set up in Bangalore and three more are planned. A large store of sets of textbooks is being formed in Bombay for long loan to students through the existing Council libraries at Delhi, Madras, Calcutta and Bombay and through the Universities. Over 30,000 books have been sent out and 235 additional subscriptions to periodicals provided for Council libraries in India since 1st April, 1959. Borrowings are reported to be heavy. In Pakistan two new libraries have been opened or are about to open in Rawalpindi and Chittagong. The Council is planning to open three more in 1960–61. Libraries of the long-lending type are already operating in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Dacca and in process of being extended to Lahore and Chittagong. First indications are that these are a great success. Nearly 40,000 books and 104 additional subscriptions to periodicals have been provided for Council libraries in Pakistan since 1st April. New Council libraries have also been opened at Hargeisa in the Somaliland Protectorate, at Mogadishu in Somalia and at Addis Ababa. Libraries will be opened in the near future in
  • Ceylon—at Kandy.
  • Uganda—at Fort Portal.
  • Tanganyika—at Mwanza.
  • Nigeria—at Port Harcourt.
  • Libya—at Benghazi.
  • Iran—at Shiraz.
  • Nepal—at Kathmandu.
  • Viet Nam—at Saigon.