HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 cc181-2
9. Mr. Chichester-Clark

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what action he is taking to remedy the shortage of British Council librarians in the developing countries.

Mr. Oram

There is a general shortage of qualified and experienced librarians in the developing countries, but the larger British Council libraries are supervised by professional British librarians employed by the Council. The Council seeks to fill such gaps as exist as funds become available.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

Does not the hon. Gentleman think that there is something else he could do to remedy this situation? It is quite dreadful.

Mr. Oram

I agree that this is a grave matter, but it is not easy for us to create this kind of post unless we have firm requests from overseas Governments. There have not been many of these. When they come in we treat them with every sympathy and urgency.

Dame Joan Vickers

In view of the great importance of this work, will the hon. Gentleman consider training in this country more people from overseas to act as librarians in their countries of origin?

Mr. Oram

That is an important point, which we bear in mind in considering the extension of our training programme.