HC Deb 17 December 1963 vol 686 cc1031-2
24. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what was the expenditure on the low-priced book scheme in 1962–63; and what is the estimated expenditure for 1963–64.

Mr. R. Carr

The expenditure in 1962–63 was £107,000. The estimated expenditure for 1963–64 is £86,000.

Mr. Thomson

Is not the Minister ashamed of those figures? Was not the expenditure last year much lower than that originally estimated? Is it not very bad that the figures should be going down? What steps are the Government taking to ensure that the scheme lives up to the kind of target set when it originally gained the consent of the House?

Mr. Carr

I am not ashamed of the figures. Since the scheme was instituted in 1960, over a million books have been sold to 34 countries. It is proving less expensive than we expected. Expansion of the scheme is also sometimes delayed by the time taken to select the books, and the time taken to get the approval of other countries of the titles selected, but the extension of the scheme to other countries is under consideration.