HC Deb 09 March 1961 vol 636 c661
14. Mr. Teeling

asked the Minister of Education if he will introduce legislation to compel local authorities to charge those who do not live within their boundaries for the use of their public libraries.

Sir D. Eccles

No, Sir. But some of the technical problems of the extra-district use of public libraries will, I hope, receive further study by the working party which I am appointing to consider inter-library co-operation.

Mr. Teeling

To take just one example, does my right hon. Friend realise that in the year 1957–58 the population of the district served by the Westminster public libraries was roughly 95,000 and the number of registered readers was 146,140? Does he not think that the thing is beginning to get a little out of hand and, furthermore, that it is grossly unfair on the poor authors who are trying to obtain some sort of reward for writing books?

Sir D. Eccles

No. I am inclined to agree with the Reports Committee that extra-district charges to borrowers should be abolished.