HC Deb 06 November 1962 vol 666 cc771-2
2. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation whether, in the light of his recent visit to Africa, he will now extend the Government's low-priced books scheme to countries in the African continent.

Mr. Vosper

During my visit to West Africa I looked carefully into the various ways in which British books are made more widely available there, but I am not yet ready to make any statement about the possibility of adding this one.

Mr. Thomson

While I thank the Minister for that reply, as far as it goes, may I ask him to give really careful consideration to this matter? Does he recall that when the scheme was originally introduced it was felt on both sides of the House that Africa was one of the places where it would be most helpful?

Mr. Vosper

Yes, but I think that the needs of Africa in this respect are less serious than the needs of Asia, where the scheme has been introduced. There are other ways in which we can help. There is the British Council's multiple scheme, libraries and so on, and I am awaiting a report on East Africa. When I receive that report I will be able to make a decision as to whether we can implement this proposal.