HC Deb 20 July 1982 vol 28 c194
2. Mr. Greenway

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information is available to him as to the proportion of textbooks used in maintained schools which is imported.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Dr. Rhodes Boyson)

I regret that my Department does not collect information on that matter. The value of all published literature imported into the United Kingdom in 1980 was £120 million.

Mr. Greenway

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware of subversive and Communist publications which go into schools via the Novosti press, as reported in The Daily Telegraph and other publications? Will he do something about it?

Dr. Boyson

We have to differentiate between the agreement of 1961 that allowed Soviet Weekly to come into British schools and 100,000 copies of Anglia to go into Russian schools. That figure compares with the 30 or 40 pamphlets from the Novosti press, which are offered free, and with many of which we disagree.

Mr. Dobson

Setting aside the source of the books, what does the hon. Gentleman say to the Publishers' Association, which claims that there is little or no sign of education authorities using the £20 million that the hon. Gentleman claims to have allocated for additional book purchasing?

Dr. Boyson

We put £20 million more in the rate support grant for this year, which would take the level of book provision an real terms back to the 1978–79 level. That is what I am informed, but we can argue about that at another time. Once the money has left us in the RSG it is up to local authorities how they use it. Since they probably paid more in teachers' salaries than was allowed for in the RSG, that extra money had to come from somewhere.