HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 cc762-3
28. Ms. Abbott

To ask the Lord Privy Seal if he will take steps to ensure that the Library stocks the Caribbean Times, the Asian Times, the African Times, the Voice, the Gleaner and the New Life newspaper; and if he will make a statement.

The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Wakeham)

I understand that the Library currently takes the African Times, Asian Times and Caribbean Times on a regular basis, and that the Gleaner is taken by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association headquarters. The need for further newspapers is kept under continuous review. I am sure that the hon. Lady will appreciate that because of space restrictions and the staff time involved there is a limit to the number of titles taken. I should say, however, that I personally have a great deal of sympathy with the request for the Gleaner and will be adding my representations to those of the hon. Lady.

Ms. Abbott

Is the Leader of the House aware that the Library began to take the African Times, the Asian Times and the Carribean Times only in October this year and that when I first came to the House the Library stocked no minority papers at all? Will he join me in deploring the insensitivity of a Library which stocks magazines for stamp collectors and country landowners, but none reflecting ethnic minority society?

Mr. Wakeham

I am not sure that the fault lies with I he Library so much as with those who use it. There was no evident demand for the Library to hold stocks of the papers to which the hon. Lady referred until a request was made last summer by an hon. Member. Once the need was identified, the Library took steps to satisfy it.

Mr. Stokes

Will my right hon. Friend be kind enough to arrange for the Library to stock my favourite journal, which is frequently mentioned by Peter Simple in The Daily Telegraph—the Reactionary Herald and Feudal Times?

Mr. Wakeham

I will certainly see that my hon. Friend's request is heard in the right quarters.