§ 38. Mr. G. M. Thomson
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 643 what progress he is making with the scheme for the provision of low-priced British books overseas.
I would invite the hon. Member's attention to the full Answer I am giving today to my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Clark Hutchison). In brief, twenty-three university textbooks are now being produced. They will be followed by others. Arrangements are being made to produce a group of books to help those in Asia and Africa who wish to develop their English or extend their practical skills. Preparatory work to implement others of the Advisory Committee's recommendations is going ahead.
I am glad to be able to say that the Publishers' Association have recently informed me that they have recommended to their membership the establishment of a consortium of publishers familiar with the export fields concerned, or otherwise interested in the Low-Priced Book Scheme. This consortium will pool the relevant experience and resources of the trade here, co-operate with local trade interests oversea, and will be able to offer further help with the Government's programme.
§ Mr. Thomson
While welcoming the steps the right hon. Gentleman has taken to fill in the disappointing delay in the original Low-Priced Book Scheme, and while also welcoming the progress made with the publishers, may I ask whether he can say when the first lot of titles of the original Low-Priced Book Scheme will be available in Africa and other under-developed countries?
The first list of titles of textbooks is available in a Written Answer I have given today. I shall be informing the House in due course of other lists of titles, but I cannot give an exact indication of the time.
§ Mr. McAdden
Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that he will exercise due discretion in the type of low-priced books he allows to go overseas?