HL Deb 15 November 1911 vol 10 cc168-208

House again in Committee (according to Order).

[The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]

LORD REDESDALE moved the insertion, after Clause 11, of new clauses imposing penalties for the fraudulent production or sale of paintings, works of sculpture, drawings, photographs, or negatives.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the Amendment which stands in my name, although it is a somewhat lengthy one, docs not need much explanation. The Fine Arts Copyright Act of 1862 gave artists protection against their signatures being attached to copies of their work. Those provisions are to be repealed—in fact, practically the whole of the Act of 1862 is repealed by the schedule attached to this Bill. Artists feel sorely aggrieved on this point. They say that it is a matter of very great disturbance to them in their profession that anybody should be allowed to produce a copy of their work, very inferior in quality, and put the artist's initials to it as if it were a bona fide production. I do not think anybody who has the smallest conception of what the artistic nature is can deny that that would be to artists not only a hardship, but an extremely galling hardship.

The noble Viscount, in the, if I may say so, charming speech in which he moved the Second Reading of this Bill, told us that it was a Bill which must take from somebody in order to give to somebody else. That may be so. I think most Bills take from somebody in order to give to somebody else. But this Bill is unique in one point, and that is that as it stands it will tend to take an honest man's work in order to give it to a rogue and forger. That is a position which the artists on behalf of whom I speak feel to be a very great grievance, and they are anxious that the Government should reintroduce the clauses of the Act of 1862 which protected them in this respect. Therefore in the Amendment which 1 am moving those clauses are introduced, and I hope that the noble Viscount may see his way to do in this respect an act of justice which I venture to think is very much called for.

Amendment moved—

After Clause 11, insert the following new clauses: . No person shall do or cause to be done any or either of the following acts; that is to say—

First, no person shall fraudulently sign or otherwise affix, or fraudulently cause to be signed or otherwise affixed, to or upon any painting, work of sculpture, drawing, or photograph, or the negative thereof, any name, initials, or monogram:

Secondly, no person shall fraudulently sell, publish, exhibit, or dispose of, or offer for sale, exhibition, or distribution, any painting, work of sculpture, drawing, or photograph, or negative of a photograph, having thereon the name, initials, or monogram of a person who did not execute or make such work:

Thirdly, no person shall fraudulently utter, dispose of, or put off, or cause to be uttered or disposed of, any copy or colourable imitation of any painting, work of sculpture, drawing, or photograph, or negative of a. photograph, whether there shall, be subsisting copyright therein or not, as having been made or executed by the author or maker of the original work from which such copy or imitation shall have been taken:

Fourthly, where the author or maker of any painting, work of sculpture, drawing, or photograph, or negative of a photograph, made cither before or after the passing of this Act, shall have sold or otherwise parted with the possession of such work, if any alteration shall afterwards; be made therein by any other person, by addition or otherwise, no person shall be at liberty, during the life of the author or maker of such work, without his consent, to make or knowingly 1o sell or publish, or offer for sale, such work or any copies of such works so altered as aforesaid, or of any part thereof, as or for the unaltered work of such author or maker:

Every offender under this section shall, upon conviction, forfeit to the person aggrieved a sum not exceeding ten pounds, or not exceeding double the full price, if any, at which all such copies, engravings, imitations, or altered works shall have been sold or offered for sale; and all such copies, engravings, imitations, or altered works shall be forfeited to the person, or the assigns or legal representatives of the person, whose name, initials, or monogram shall be so fraudulently signed or affixed thereto, or to whom such spurious or altered work shall be so fraudulently or falsely ascribed as aforesaid: Provided always, that the penalties imposed by this section shall not be incurred unless the person whoso name, initials, or monogram shall be so fraudulently signed or affixed, or to whom such spurious or altered work shall be so fraudulently or falsely ascribed as aforesaid, shall have been living at or within fifty years next before the time when the offence may have been committed.

. All pecuniary penalties which shall be incurred, and all such unlawful copies, imitations, and all other effects and things as shall have been forfeited by offenders, pursuant to this Act, may be recovered by the person hereinbefore and in any such Act as aforesaid empowered to recover the same respectively, and hereinafter called the complainant or the complainer, as follows:

In England and Ireland, either by action against the party offending, or by summary proceeding before any two justices having jurisdiction where the party offending resides:

In Scotland by action before the Court of Session in ordinary form, or by summary action before the sheriff of the. county where the offence may be committed or the offender resides, who, upon proof of the offence or offences, either by confession of the party offending, or by the oath or affirmation of one or more credible witnesses, shall convict the offender, and find him liable to the penalty or penalties aforesaid, as also in expenses, and it shall be lawful for the sheriff in pronouncing such judgment for the penalty or penalties and costs, to insert in such judgment a warrant, in the event, of such penalty or penalties and costs not being paid, to levy and recover the amount of the same by poinding: Provided always, that it shall be lawful to the sheriff, in the event of his dismissing the action and assoilzieing the defender, to find the corn-plainer liable in expenses, and any judgment so to be pronounced by the sheriff in such summary application shall be final and conclusive, and not subject to review by advocation, suspension, reduction, or otherwise.—(Lord Redesdale.)


Before the noble and learned Viscount deals with this matter, might I say a few words upon it? I do not think at present it is quite appreciated what this Amendment proposes to do. In the Fine Arts Copyright Act of 1862 there are provisions which are substantially the same as are found in this Amendment, but they are confined to paintings, drawings, and photographs, and, as i understand, this Amendment proposes to extend those sections to works of sculpture. The provisions of the Copyright Act of 1862 which deal with this are still preserved in the latter part of the Bill. Your Lordships will find that while the schedule repeals Sections 1 to 6, certain words in Section 8, and Sections 9 to 12, it leaves standing the penal provisions which deal with photographs, paintings and drawings. Those sections are untouched. There may be a difference as to the length of time at which they could be put in force by reason of the extension of time in this Bill during which copyright runs. But I understand that in drafting this Bill it was not considered that those sections had really any strict relationship to the law of copyright. They were to prevent frauds and punish fraudulent actions of the kinds indicated in the section—namely, fraudulently signing a painting, drawing, or photograph; fraudulently selling or distributing any work having the name, initial, or monogram, of the person who did not execute it; fraudulently issuing any colourable imitation; gelling an altered work as though it were an unaltered work, and so on. Your Lordships will sec that those are cases dealt with by that Act in order to prevent fraud. They are not, strictly speaking, copyright matters, with which this Bill purports to deal. It was therefore considered, as I understand, that those two sections of the Act of 1862 were not properly part of the law of copyright, but that as they conferred a right in connection with such frauds it was not desirable that they should be repealed. Accordingly they are, in the schedule to which I have referred, left unrepealed, but it was not thought right in a Copyright Bill to extend those sections. If this matter is considered very carefully it will be seen that, strictly speaking, these provisions as they stand, and the extended ones, have no strict relationship to the law of copyright. They are to prevent people committing frauds by passing off goods as those of an author when they are not his at all, or where they have been altered or dealt with in some such way. The proposal in this Amendment, which is substantially to extend these provisions to works of sculpture, might equally well be extended to all sorts of things in which there is copyright. Therefore I venture to suggest that this Amendment ought not to be accepted.


I understand what the noble and learned Lord says as to this proposed clause not being really part of a Copyright Bill. But may I ask this question? Do we understand that the protection given in the Act of 1862 is not repealed as regards this particular provision, and that the law, therefore, remains as it is at present?


That is so. The question whether Section 7 of the Fine Arts Copyright Act of 1862 should be repealed was considered when this Bill was framed, and the view taken, after a good deal of balancing of opinion, was this. Certain classes of persons with fine art copyrights (which did not include sculpture) have got this statutory offence created for their protection already, and it was thought better not to take away what they have got. But the Government were very averse to the creation of a new statutory offence. It is always undesirable to create new statutory offences. The Common Law gives a remedy for this kind of fraud. At the time when the Act of 1862 was drafted it was thought Tight to make a new statutory offence. The view finally taken was this—Do not take away what they have got, but do not extend it. Consequently it was not thought right to create the offence by Statute for sculpture also. Those are the reasons which weighed with those who framed the Bill in the fashion in which it now stands. There was this further consideration, that these provisions in Section 7 of the Fine Arts Copyright Act of 1862 have nothing whatever to do with copyright, and we are very unwilling to load the Bill with something which is really not germane to its scope.


I quite understand the argument which the noble and learned Viscount uses, but I do think sculpture is rather hardly treated. Sculptors suffer under a very great grievance, quite as great a grievance as painters suffer through the fraudulent attachment of their signatures. Do I understand the noble and learned Viscount to mean that if this matter is to be dealt with at all it ought not to be dealt with in this Bill but as an amendment to a Bill dealing with fraudulent attestations of signature?


Yes. It would be an amendment to a Criminal Code. I do not express any opinion as to whether it would be desirable to extend this class of offence. The noble Earl referred to sculpture. Well, why not a book? Why should not this be extended to fraudulently putting the name of the wrong author on a book and selling it? If you extend it at all, you ought to extend it to every form of copyright article. The reason we have not put in sculpture is that, we rather demurred to the principle of Section 7. Were that being dealt with de novo, we should act differently. But as I have said, we have not thought it right to take away from these particular forms of art protection which they at present possess, and if we extended it to sculpture we should feel bound to extend it to books and other things.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clauses 12 to 14 agreed to.

Clause 15:

Delivery of Books to Libraries.

15.—(1) The publisher of every book published in the United Kingdom shall within one month after the publication deliver, at his own expense, a copy of the book to the trustees of the British Museum, who shall give a written receipt for it.

(2) He shall also, if written demand is made within twelve months after publication, deliver within one month after receipt of that written demand to some depot in London Burned in the demand a copy of the book for, or in accordance with the directions of, the authority having the control of each of the following libraries, namely: the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the University Library, Cambridge, the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh, and the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and subject [to the provisions of this section the National Library of Wales.

(3) The copy delivered to the trustees of the British Museum shall be a copy of the whole book with all maps and illustrations belonging thereto, finished and coloured in the same manner as the best copies of the book are published, and shall be bound, sewed, or stitched together, and on the best paper on which the book is printed.

(4) The copy delivered for the other authorities mentioned in this section shall be on the paper on which the largest number of copies of the book is printed for sale, and shall be in the like condition as the books prepared for sale.

(5) The books of which copies are to be delivered to the National Library of Wales shall not include books of such classes as may be specified in regulations to be made by the Board of Trade.

(6) If a publisher fails to comply with this section, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds and the value of the book, and the fine shall be paid to the trustees or authority to whom the book ought to have been delivered.

(7) For the purposes of this section the expression "book" includes every part or division of a book, pamphlet, sheet of letter-press, sheet of music, map, plan, chart or table separately published, but shall not include any second or sub-sequent edition of a book unless such edition contains additions or alterations either in the letterpress or in the maps, prints', or other engravings belonging thereto. In the case of an encyclopædia, newspaper, review, magazine, or work published in a series of books or parts, it shall not be necessary to make a separate claim for each number or part but a single claim for the whole work shall suffice.


My Lords, I have put down two classes of Amendments in connection with this clause. I should like to take them quite separately in what I have to say, though it looks as if they all related to the same matter What I propose to do is to try to make plain that I am dealing first with a set of Amendments which are only concerned with the question of what ought to be done with regard to the books which are supplied to the libraries mentioned in the clause. The other Amendments deal only with a minor matter of drafting, in order to make clear the position with regard to books which are published over a period in parts, and as to which I think the clause as it at present stands is not sufficiently clear with regard to the time of demand. I move to insert, at the beginning of subsection (2), the words "Subject to the provisions of this section"; in the ninth line of the same subsection, to leave out the words "subject to the provisions of this section"; in lines 21 and 22 to leave out "to the National Library of Wales" and insert "for the authorities of any library mentioned in this section other than the trustees of the British Museum"; and in line 23, after "may," to insert "as respects that library." Those four Amendments really all relate to the same matter, and perhaps I may be permitted to deal with them substantially in moving what looks like a merely formal Amendment to insert the words "Subject to the provisions of this section."

The point that I wish to put before your Lordships is shortly this. If the clause with which I am at the present moment con- cerned is referred to, you will find that it provides for the publisher of every book published in the United Kingdom delivering within one month of publication, at his own expense, a copy of the book to the trustees of the British Museum. I should like to point out that this refers to every book published, whether or not the book is subject to copyright. In addition to supplying that copy to the British Museum, the publisher has also, if written demand is made within a limited time, to deliver a copy of each book to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the University Library at Cambridge, the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh, and the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and, subject to the provisions of Clause 15, to the National Library of Wales. Subsection (3) of this clause provides that the copy delivered to the trustees of the British Museum shall be a copy of the whole book, with all maps and illustrations belonging thereto finished and coloured in the same manner as the best copies of the book are published, and shall be bound and on the best paper on which the book is printed. The copy of the book delivered to the other authorities I have mentioned is to be on the paper on which the largest number of the copies of the book is printed for sale, and must be in the like condition as the books prepared for sale. Then a special provision is made with regard to the National Library of Wales, which is an addition to the present number of libraries to which copies have to be delivered. The books of which copies are to be delivered to the National Library of Wales are not to include books of such classes as may be specified in regulations to be made by the Board of Trade.

I have now stated, I hope sufficiently clearly, what the clause is intended to do. The question of what the Amendment is intended to do is the next matter. The Amendment is intended not to go so far as was recommended in the Report of the Royal Commissioners of 1878, who recommended the repeal of these provisions except so far as they related to the British Museum; but the Amendment suggests that there should be some control or some check upon the right to demand every book that is published. In the Report of the Royal Commissioners of 1878 a short history of the Statutes and so forth which bring about the present situation is given, and it is also shortly stated in the Memorandum which has been prepared by the publishers. I do not know whether your Lordships have seen it, but a copy has been sent to me. The publishers say that the exaction is the remnant of an enactment connected with the literary censorship, established after the Restoration, and intended to prevent the publication of heretical, blasphemous, immoral, or seditious books. The first trace of any special provision as regards the great public libraries is to be found as far back as the early part of the seventeenth century, when Sir Thomas Bodley founded the Bodleian Library, and obtained, in 1610, not a statutory provision, but a grant from the Stationers' Company of a copy of every work published in the country. Apparently an arrangement was made with the Stationers' Company, who at that time would probably be in control of publishing, to give to the library a copy of every book published in the country. The position with regard to the public libraries referred to was developed, as time went on, in the earlier Copyright Acts. The first of those that I have been able to trace is a Statute in Queen Anne's reign which contained provisions that there should be nine copies delivered by the publishers: one to the Royal Library, one to the Oxford Library—that is, the Bodleian Library, I take it—one to the University of Cambridge, four to the Scottish Universities, one to Sion College, and one to the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh. As far as I can trace it, that seems to be the first Statute of copyright where this matter is clearly and definitely laid down in the terms which I have just stated.


There was a Statute in 1662.


The Royal Commissioners of 1878 reported that the obligation dated from the time of Charles II, but I have not gone back so far. I thought it sufficient to stop at Queen Anne. From then the privilege has varied from time to time, both as regards the number of copies required to be presented and the libraries entitled to them. At one time I think it was only three; but the maximum number of copies at any one time was as high as eleven to different libraries. The position was regulated in 1842 by the Copyright Act, which applies not only to the United Kingdom but to every part of the British dominions, and that required a copy of every book published, together with subsequent editions with alterations and additions, to be delivered as follows: one each to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh and Trinity College, Dublin—the same as in this Bill, with the exception of Wales—with a best copy to the British Museum. I find that in 1836, before that Act was passed, the other authorities were eliminated, leaving only those that are in the Act of 1842, and some compensation by way of grant was made to them by the Treasury.

It will be seen, if the Act of 1842 is referred to, that it applied, as this one does, to every book published and to all subsequent editions if there were any alterations or additions contained in them, and that the British Museum took a copy as a matter of course. The others—and this is important—took, as they will take under this Bill, their copies if demanded, and they would take books of the kind of which the largest number of copies were printed. The Commissioners state in their Report that, as a matter of fact, copies of nearly every work of importance were presented to all the five libraries which then had the privilege, and they said that many witnesses were called before them who complained of the obligation as being a heavy and an unjust tax. They said it was not felt hardly in the case of low-priced books or in the case of books which were in very large circulation, which I take it would include books which had not a great cost, but that it was felt hardly in the cases of books of expensive character; and they also added that large numbers were sent without any demand, though I am not quite sure that that is consistent with what they had previously said. The Commissioners reported that on the whole they considered that the complaint, of the authors and publishers was well founded, and recommended that so much of the law as to gratuitous presentation to libraries as required copies to be given to libraries other than the British Museum should be repealed. The bodies to whom these libraries belong are, they thought, possessed of considerable means and well able to purchase the books required by them, and they pointed out that they would only be deprived of a right to obtain property to be thereafter created.

In the Memorandum which they have issued the publishers refer to the well-known article which appeared in the Quarterly Review in 1819, in which a list of books is cited the publication of which, they say, the enactment either prevented or severely handicapped. They say, further, that in course of time it has become the practice of the four libraries other than the British Museum to apply for a copy of every book published, including a vast mass of printed matter which cannot possibly be of any use to their. The fact that the Act which at present exists and also this Bill require that the Universities and other libraries should demand what they want tends to show that what they are expected to demand are books which are really necessary or desirable for the libraries. The publishers contend that for them to demand every book of every kind published in the country is going beyond what is contemplated, and that unless some control i is imposed there is no means actually of stopping anything that may be demanded. This Bill applies to all books published, as did the old Act of 1842, and that is all books whether copyright exists in them or not.

The position in this country is certainly more severe upon publishers and authors than it is in any other country. A table is given in the Memorandum which has been circulated by the publishers showing that in four countries, Italy being one, three free copies are provided. In France and a number of other countries two free copies ar provided. In Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Norway and other countries no free copies are provided; so that England at present stands in a position in which more is asked of those who produce books than in any other country, so far as my information goes, in the world. It is obvious that it must add, whatever the amount may be, considerable cost to the publishers, and indirectly through them to the authors, in placing upon them the duty of providing free copies to a certain number of libraries. In the case of very expensive books the charge placed upon the publishers may be a serious matter. One knows from general information that books are nowadays published in which the author's part is very little, and which contain plates, engravings, and so forth which have involved enormous cost—books the price of which may be 40 or 50 guineas; and if free copies of those books have to be delivered it would amount to a great additional cost. I dm not suggesting that this right which has existed for so long should be wholly repealed, as was recommended by the Commissioners in 1878. I understand that the publishers themselves state that what they require is a provision that none but such books as can be of value in academic libraries should be supplied. Therefore the suggestion is made that there should be some regulation of the books which ought to be supplied.

Then the question arises how should this be regulated. At present the suggestion with regard to Wales is that there should be regulations made by the Board of Trade. The words in the clause are— The books of which copies are to be delivered to the National Library of Wales shall not include books of such classes as may be specified in regulations to be made by the Board of Trade. It may be said that the Board of Trade has not much to do necessarily with the literary world. At the same time if any control at all is to be placed upon the demand, somebody will have to be constituted for the purpose of making regulations on the matter; and if regulations are made by such an authority as that indicated they should not become operative until they had lain on the Table of both Houses for a certain time in order that objections could be made to them if necessary. Broadly speaking, the point comes to this. This is an old privilege; there is a hardship felt by those who have to submit to it, and an expense is put upon them by it. Is it not reasonable that some control should be exercised, so that books which are not really necessary for the purpose of any particular library or institution should to a certain extent be regulated, and regulated in such a manner that the regulations should be placed before the Houses of Parliament before becoming operative? The Amendments which I have put down would enable different regulations to be made for different libraries, and I now leave the matter to your Lordships. I move in the terms of my first Amendment, on which the others will substantially depend.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 1, at the beginning of the line, insert ("Subject to the provisions of this section "). —(Lord Gorell.)


My Lords, I venture to commend the proposal which the noble and learned Lord has made to your Lordships' favourable consideration. I need hardly say that those who, like myself, share the noble and learned Lord's view are not animated by the smallest feeling of ill-will against the Universities. I feel quite certain, more especially as we have the advantage of the presence in this House of the distinguished Chancellor of the University of Oxford, that we shall hear the case more especially for the Bodleian Library put before us by him with great force. I quite recognise that the Bodleian Library, owing to its antiquity and high reputation, deserves special consideration, but we have not only to deal with the Bodleian Library but with four other libraries, or, including Wales, five. But really what has raised the whole of this question is the fear of the publishers that the arguments which are made to apply in the case of Wales would apply equally in the case of other Universities, such as Leeds and Sheffield, and they do not exactly see where concessions will end. If the question of Wales had not been raised at all, although publishers and authors have long since complained of the present position of the law, they would have been prepared to bear it.

The noble and learned Lord on the Cross Benches has pointed out that in this matter we are already far more liberal than other nations. I need not, therefore, repeat what he has said on that point. The complaint is not as regards ordinary works, but as regards certain works of which there is a limited production and which cost large sums of money. I have in my hand a list of books of this nature. Here, for instance, is a work published a short time ago by Messrs. Constable & Co., "The Bridgwater Gallery," containing 120 of the most noted paintings at Bridgwater House reproduced in photogravure, and the cost price of which was fifty guineas. It would be an exaggeration to say that by giving these five copies the publishers lose five times fifty guineas because they might not have been able to sell them at all, but it is a fact they they are making a present of goods which they value at two hundred and fifty guineas, and I think it is asking a good deal of them. There are numerous other cases of works published at smaller sums. There is "The Lives and Works of James and William Ward," by Mrs. Frankau, published at thirty guineas; "John Raphael Smith: His Life and Works," published at thirty guineas; and quite recently "The Story of Emma, Lady Hamilton," published at thirty guineas. The last-named work consists of a story of Lady Hamilton's youth, and contains reproductions in photogravure of a number of those celebrated pictures of Romney representing this remarkable lady as Circe, Euphrosyne, The Nun, St. Cecilia, The Spinster, and several times as a Bacchante. I can hardly conceive a work of a less academic character or one less necessary for the tuition, instruction, and edification either of the authorities at the Universities or of those students who Hock for instruction and study to the Bodleian Library. It may, perhaps, be argued that these works are not; presented merely for academical purposes, but if that is not the reason why they are asked for by the Universities, what is the reason? It is perfectly clear that the Legislature contemplated some control. That is to say, it contemplated that not all the works that are produced should be presented to the libraries.

My noble and learned friend on the Cross Benches alluded to an article which was published in the Quarterly Review in 1819 written by the poet Southey. I should like to read a passage. Mr. Southey in this article is quoting from a work by Sir Egerton Brydges, who was at that time a Member of Parliament, and, I believe, an author, though I have never read any of his works. Sir Egerton Brydges said— They [the publishers and authors] wore told that the public bodies would exercise their claims mildly and liberally; that they would take lists, and only call for such books as they absolutely wanted; that their main object was to establish their right, but trust them, and it should be seen how they would use the power. See, indeed, how they use it! I do think that the University authorities have rather strained the powers which the law has given them by asking for every book, and it is that of which the publishers complain. If they had asked for books which were really required for instructional purposes, no complaint would have been made, but to ask for every book published, whether expensive or inexpensive, is surely going outside the spirit of the law, and some control should be exercised over them.

It may, perhaps, be said that it is objectionable to give any Government Department control in these matters, and that that objection applies more especially to the Board of Trade, which has to deal with commercial and not with educational matters. I sympathise with that objection and would be the last to encourage the tendency to increase the powers of Government Departments, but I do not here see how it can be avoided. One way of avoiding it, of course, would be to incorporate the regulations in the Bill, but there are valid objections to that course, as I understand the regulations would require to be changed from time to time, and if they were incorporated in the Act they could only be changed by an Act of Parliament. Another way in which the evil, if it be an evil, could be mitigated is by providing that the regulations when passed should lie on the Table of both Houses of Parliament to enable those who had objections to state their case. Personally I may say, although I shall support the noble and learned Lord if he goes to a Division, I do not attach enormous importance to the precise method which the noble and learned Lord has suggested. If His Majesty's Government are prepared to consider the matter and produce something which will set up control in a different way, I think the noble and learned Lord would be very wise to accept it. I trust that when the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill speaks he will tell us that he will be able to do something in that direction.


My Lords, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Gorell, made, if I may say so, a very moderate and reasoned statement of his case, and it has been supported by the great authority of the noble Earl who has just addressed the House. But I hope that your Lordships will not be persuaded by those arguments but will be prepared to believe that there is another and very different side of the case which is capable of being sustained by reasons not only equal but better. The noble Earl, Lord Cromer, told us how the matter had arisen, and it is very important that your Lordships should bear this in mind. It is proposed, I believe, to constitute a National Library in Wales. The creation of that, institution is a very proper compliment to Welsh sentiment, and I do not think there is any one in this House who would object to the idea for a moment. Such a library, I imagine, when constituted will exist for the most part for the collection of works relating to Welsh history, Welsh literature, and so on. In other words, it will be a library of a necessarily somewhat restricted character. But merely because it is intended to constitute this library with this restricted scope and therefore to apply to it provisions for creating some means by which there shall be a discrimination in the character of the books supplied, it is now proposed at the last moment in your Lordships' House, in the shape of an Amendment to this Bill, to make changes which form no part of the Bill itself, which were not mentioned in the House of Commons, which so far as I know were never heard of by us until the noble and learned Lord put his Amendment down on the Paper, and which are intended to deprive certain great libraries of this country of privileges which they have long enjoyed.

These libraries are five in number—the two University Libraries of Oxford and Cambridge, the Library at Edinburgh, the Library at Trinity College, Dublin, and the British Museum. We all concede that the British Museum stands in a category apart. No one proposes to modify its privileges. The case arises as regards the remaining four. I am bound to confess that I have no right to speak on behalf of the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh or of the Trinity College Library in Dublin. I know nothing except by repute of those institutions. Neither have I, of course, any right to speak except as a representative of one University for the Library of the other University. But I do speak for the Bodleian Library at Oxford. I am not anxious—I do not know that it would be fair—to discriminate between the Bodleian Library at Oxford and the University Library at Cambridge, although for my own part, being more familiar with the conditions of the Bodleian, I think I can make out a case for that library which does place it in a somewhat exceptional position.

The rights of which you are asked by the Amendment to deprive the Bodleian Library are rights which it has enjoyed for over 300 years. They were first obtained by its founder Sir Thomas Bodley, who when he created the library in the beginning of the seventeenth century made an arrangement with the Stationers' Company—which at that time had a monopoly in the publication of books—under which they gave him a copy of every book that they published. That right it enjoyed for a number of years, until in 1662 it was confirmed by Statute; and the privilege was again endorsed in the first Copyright Act of 1710. In 1836 the curators of the Bodleian Library were offered £500 by the Government to surrender this privilege, but so much value did they attach to it that they declined the offer and the right has been in existence ever since.

Now what is there to justify this right? May I be allowed to dispute altogether the conception of the Bodleian Library which was put before us by the noble Earl, Lord Cromer? He spoke of it more than once as if it were a purely academic institution existing solely for the instruction of Dons and undergraduates. He even took the case of the history of Lady Hamilton and asked what was the good of giving a book of that sort to the Bodleian Library. It could, he said, hardly appeal to the Dons —about which I am not at all certain—and it ought not to appeal to the undergraduates, about which I am even less sure. Again, when he was speaking about the instructions that might have to be issued in the future he argued, What could be easier than to lay down whether a book is or is not of instructional value? But these are not the tests. The Bodleian is more than an academic institution. It is an institution, it is true, which exists to a large extent for the encouragement of study and learning amongst the residents of Oxford. But it is much more, than that. If you go into the Bodleian Library at any time you will find its galleries filled not merely with students of the University, but with scholars from all parts of the world, who go there to study books under conditions of tranquillity such as exist nowhere else. Not only that, but we make a return for this. I happen to know myself, from my connection with Oxford, that we lend manuscripts, books, and so on all over the world. Moreover, when the books are sent to our officials we bind them, store them, catalogue them, and in every way place them at the disposal of students. Thus we stand, not in the position of an academic library at Oxford, but in the place of a great national institution, one of the principal repositories of literature in this country.

I think I might make another point. Is it wise, even admitting the special character of the British Museum, that you should treat that as the only great national repository of published books in this country? Supposing some great conflagration were to occur or the British Museum were to be wrecked and its contents destroyed, what a lamentable thing it would be if there were no other institution to which to turn for that which you had unfortunately lost. I submit that this is a consideration worth thinking of, and that it might, indeed, be wise, whatever you do with regard to the other libraries, that you should maintain at least one University library on the same footing as the British Museum.

The noble and learned Lord said it was rather hard on the publishers to have to give to a number of institutions copies of books of an expensive character. The noble Earl, Lord Cromer, was quite fair in saying that the burden to the publishers is, of course, not to be measured by the actual pecuniary value of the book. I am not concerned to dispute that the gift of these books does involve some sacrifice to the publishers. The question is whether it is a burden that they can legitimately be asked to bear. I think it is, for these reasons. In the first place, publishers as a body gain enormously by the privileges conceded to them in. the Copyright Act, and the noble Viscount opposite pointed out on the Second Reading that those privileges are really enhanced under this Bill. Publishers on the whole, and authors with them, are placed in a better position. It is, perhaps, therefore not unreasonable to ask that they should make some return to the public for the privileges that they enjoy. I would put another consideration to your Lordships that occurs to me. The noble Earl seemed to think that when a thirty-guinea book or a sixty-guinea book goes into the Bodleian Library it disappears from sight I here, and is, so to speak, buried in this vast tomb of unread literature. I do not think that is by any means the case; and if I were a publisher I would rather be disposed to welcome the gratuitous form of advertisement for important books which I thus obtained. What I mean is this. Publishers publish books, but in order to be successful in their trade they want, in the first place, authors to write books, and, in the second place, purchasers to buy them. I should imagine that the spectacle of a book, particularly of a book like the "Life of Lady Hamilton," lying on the table of the Bodleian Library might act as a distinct advertisement of the book and tempt persons who saw that book to buy it. It might induce others to write similar or better works. I may tell your Lordships that I am speaking from what has happened in my own case. One of my practices, being a busy man, is to go to a library and see the books which are lying on the table, and if I am attracted by one of them I buy it. I think, therefore, there is a form of return to the publishers for the slight burden—for I do not think it is anything more than a slight burden—which they are asked to bear.

Then there was a further point dealt with by both noble Lords about possible restrictions on the use of this right in the future. It is proposed in the Bill that the restrictions upon the National Library of Wales should be framed by the Board of Trade, and the noble Earl, Lord Cromer, seemed to contemplate, although with some hesitation, that the same authority might be applied to the University libraries. Lord Gorell, I think, was rather more doubtful about the point. He suggested that it might be desirable to constitute some other body which he did not name. Just think for a moment what that body would have to be. I take it the Board of Trade means a collection of different officials and clerks mostly interested in non-literary questions. Imagine a Board of Trade clerk sitting down to draw up a sort of index expurgalorius—a list of what books ought to be admitted to the Bodleian Library and what books ought not. Imagine him going in with his list to the President of the Board of Trade, who is a very busy man and frequently quite destitute of literary instincts. That official promptly puts his signature at the end of the list in order to get rid of it at once and the matter is settled. I ask your Lordships to imagine the supply of books to a great library being made dependent on a procedure of that kind.

Again it is said, Why not lay the regulations on the Table of the House? Do we not know that countless Papers are laid on the Table of the House and are noticed by no one, simply because our attention is not called to them? Does this suggestion mean that the regulations are to lie on the Table in this House, or on the Table in the House of Commons, and that the Members for the University of Oxford in the other House or the unfortunate Chancellor of the University here are always to be ferreting about on the Table in order to discover what books it is proposed that the Bodleian Library shall have and what it shall not have? I venture to think the plan would be found impossible.

There is one other point to which I must refer. A noble Lord—I think it was Lord Gorell—said, "If you cease to give these libraries these books they will buy them of their own accord." Will they? Have they the means? Has the noble Lord satisfied himself as to the funds of these great institutions? I happen to know very well what the funds of the Bodleian Library are, and I know that if these books, perhaps more particularly the expensive books, are not given gratis they will not be bought at all. Let me give you the figures for last year of the acquisition of books by the Bodleian Library, because they are really more eloquent than anything I can say. Under the terms of the Copyright Act the Bodleian Library acquired last year 54,000 items. It purchased from its own funds—money that comes in no case from the State, but from the University, the Colleges, and elsewhere—263 new and second-hand books in the United Kingdom and 7,700 books from abroad. The latter is really a most important consideration, because it shows that such money as the Bodleian Library, for instance, allocates to the purchase of books it wisely devotes to accumulating foreign literature. Provided as it is with our own books, it goes abroad to secure others. Is it not quite clear that if you diminish its existing privilege that form of expenditure will cease, and that the library will only buy a small number of our English books, and will have to knock off its supply of foreign books altogether? I hope I have made out some case for saying that the University libraries in general, and the Bodleian Library in particular, deserve some consideration from the Government. I can only, in conclusion, ask your Lordships not to inflict in this sudden and unpremeditated way a great hardship and injustice on one of the principal national institutions of this country.


My Lords, before the noble Viscount, Lord Haldane, speaks, I would like to offer a few remarks on this most interesting subject. I would like to know first, how the present system works, and whether it is proposed that a new system should be established under the Bill in after years? Do all these institutions get every book that is published as a matter of course without any question of constant examination or criticism? Mast there be a demand made, general or special, or is each of these libraries given at once every book that is published? I would be glad to know exactly what the present practice is in reference to that. Again, is it intended under subsection (2) of this clause to make any, and, if any, what change? I rather gather from the general common-sense construction that would be put on this clause—a clause on which the noble and learned Viscount on the Government Bench is specially competent to speak—that it is contemplated that each of these very learned bodies would make a request for books, and that request would be met by compliance. What I would like to know is whether it is intended that the request would be general, that is for all books that are published; whether it would be for books of a special character; or whether a requisition would be made for each particular book as it came out. I ask that for information, because it is obvious that the form in which these learned bodies asked to be supplied with books would make an immense difference in administration according to the plan adopted.

I think the Universities may very well rest content with the admirable statement made by my noble friend who has just spoken. He has put their case before your Lordships with great clearness and skill. I can quite appreciate the point of view of the publishers in regard to this matter. I think that they deserve a good deal of sympathy in being asked as a matter of course to give, it may be, expensive books, for which there is a very small market, to the favoured institutions mentioned in this clause. I myself, having special sympathy with one of these favoured institutions, have not a word to say against this. I was Member for the University of Dublin in the House of Commons, I was educated at that University, and it follows that I have the highest sympathy for that great institution. In addition to the arguments used by my noble friend, Lord Curzon, I would point out in reference to Dublin University Library that it is an institution situated in the capital of Ireland, in a great city, and that its permits to read are readily extended to, and liberally used, by all those who are desirous to get the benefits of research in that institution. I trust the matter will be considered from a reasonable and historical point of view, which is not at all inconsistent with keeping in mind the great opportunity which these libraries afford for study, and for calm and useful research. I am not prepared to say that if some method of discrimination could be indicated which would prevent a great deluge of books flowing into these institutions, hundreds and thousands of which they cannot particularly need, I would not be ready to consider it in a fair and reasonable spirit, provided that the wishes and feelings of the Universities in reference to the selection were clearly and strongly borne in mind.


My Lords, before the noble Viscount speaks I would ask permission to intrude for a few moments if only to repeat in some measure what I said on the Second Reading of this Bill, because it appears to me that the argument I then used has not been referred to in the course of this debate, and, perhaps, has not been quite appreciated. On the general question I should be quite content to rest the case on the speech made by the noble Earl opposite who has spoken for the Bodleian Library and has used the strongest possible argument in support of the maintenance of the existing privileges. I claim for my own University of Cambridge the benefit of all the arguments which the noble Earl has used, and especially the last one, by which I lay great store, that the pecuniary resources of the University libraries, which are comparatively small, are practically exhausted in obtaining a supply of foreign books absolutely necessary for the use of the students of the University, and that no margin is left for the purchase of English books if that should become necessary.

The point I wish to impress on your Lordships is that in the case of this privilege, such as it is—and the argument against it which has been most relied upon by the noble Earl on the Cross Benches is one that will not stand examination, although that argument was implicitly in some measure adopted by the noble Earl on the Bench opposite—the tax is not a tax upon publishers, but is really a tax upon the purchasers of the books. As many of your Lordships are aware, publishers as a class are very capable and keen-sighted people. Everybody who has had to do with them knows that their business is highly developed. It has received from generations of publishers the closest possible attention, and it is now worked in a very complete and exact form. If your Lordships would reflect upon the way in which a book, such as was referred to by the noble Earl on the Cross Benches, is produced you would see at once that this question is not to be treated as one between the publishers and the Universities, but that it is a tax on the reading public as a whole.

Take one of that class of books to which the noble Earl on the Cross Benches specially directed attention, a book, say, with an issue of 250 copies at a price of thirty guineas. When the publisher contemplates the issue of that book he enters into most minute and careful calculations of the cost of production. He scrutinises the quality of the paper in order to sec what quality he can afford to put into the book, and, of course, the cost of production varies according to the particular paper chosen. He settles the style of printing which will be adopted in the book, and again the cost varies according to the choiceness and elegance of the type which is adopted. He knows the binding in which the book will be made up, and he knows the remuneration he will have to give to the author1 or the compiler. He knows also the cost of printing and preparing the book for distribution. All these numerous items, which are most elaborately calculated, go to make up the average cost of production of each copy of the book. Before launching the enterprise he questions how many copies can be usefully produce, and at what price can be put the book on the market. Say an issue of 250 copies is contemplated. He knows that if he publishes an issue of 250 copies he will have to give away ten, or probably more, and he must fix a price, for the other 240 which will repay him the whole cost of production, besides providing him with the reasonable profit which he expects to secure from the enterprise. If the price is fixed at thirty guineas, that price for the 240 copies sold will have to pay for the cost of production and the publisher's remuneration in respect of the whole 250 copies produced. Therefore the publisher is no more in himself the bearer of this burden than the maker of the paper on which the book is printed, the founder of the type in which it is dressed, the binder who makes up the volume for the market, or any other person who contributes in some way to the production of the book. Ultimately, you may be sure, the price which will be paid by purchasers of the book will be a price which will cover the cost of, and provide a profit upon, the whole issue. If instead of having to make 240 copies produce by their sale the cost of production of 250 copies the publisher had the privilege of selling the whole 250 copies, the effect would be that he would be able to sell the book for £30 instead of thirty guineas. I hope I have now made it clear to your Lordships that it is the purchaser and not the publisher who really bears the burden of the privilege enjoyed by these Universities and Colleges.

The question comes to this, Is it beneficial that such a tax should be laid on the purchasers of these books, making them a little more expensive, though not appreciably more in the case of ordinary books, in order that the Universities may have the privilege of receiving them? The noble Earl on the Cross Benches (Lord Cromer) mast forgive me if I say—the noble Earl opposite has already referred to it—that he appears to have a most limited notion of what the function of a University is, and who are the persons who study in it. You would think he had not so much as a sixth form in his contemplation when he spoke of the books which should be supplied to a University for the purposes of study and instruction. The reproduction of the Bridgwater Gallery pictures in photogravure, produced at twenty guineas, is just the sort of book that ought to be supplied to a University. The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford are now the resort of students from all parts of the world, especially America who come there to enjoy the privileges of study which they find they can obtain in a somewhat calmer atmosphere and amid better surroundings than are possible in London, though, of course, great facilities are at their command in the metropolis. You find at the Universities students of all classes of subjects. Many of them are students of the fine arts; and what could be better for a person really engaged, say, in a study of the great Masters, identifying their production, studying their styles, and otherwise getting up the history of Italian or other paintings—what could be better than for him to be supplied with such books as that which reproduces the treasures of Bridgwater House? Such a book enables him to study the pictures at his leisure and, having addressed his attention to them in that way, he will probably desire afterwards to see the pictures themselves on the walls of Bridgwater House. Such books are a part of the range of material necessary in a University if it is to discharge its functions in any special and satisfactory manner.

I may refer in this particular, especially in connection with the study of art, to the recent action taken by the Slade Professor of Fine Art, who has now given up his profession. He is offering a considerable amount on the part of himself, and soliciting endowments on the part of others, to establish chairs in the allied professions of fine arts in the University of Cambridge, so as to make it more than hitherto a place for the study of the history and development of art, though it has not been weak in that respect in the past. I may speak in my own person, because I was an undergraduate at Cambridge in my earlier years, and after I took my degree I was a very frequent visitor to the library at the Fitzwilliam Museum. There are excellent rooms, an ample service, and an admirable library, and one was able to study there the whole history of Italian and German art at leisure, and to one's great satisfaction. If the argument is good that institutions should be maintained as general places of study, then the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and, I take the word of my noble friend opposite, the University of Dublin in the same way, do supply particular centres where these studies can be maintained. The question, I repeat, is not one of taxing the publishers. I could scarcely repress my resentment when I heard the suggestion that the publishers are enduring this tax, and that they are paying 3 per cent. out of profits in order to bear it. The fact is, as I have shown, that it is a tax on an entirely different class of persons—on the customers. In conclusion, may I express the belief that the arguments, if examined impartially, will be found to be strongly in favour of maintaining the privileges as they exist and should remain.


My Lords, I should like to ask the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill whether there is any hope of some reasonable arrangement being made. The enormous value of books and the great necessity for continuing the present privileges to the Universities have been enlarged upon, but I confess I have heard no argument so far which suggests to me that they ought not to be paid for. If any reasonable arrangement could be made I would rather not be found voting against the privileges of the University of which I have the honour to be a member. On the other hand, I do think the publishers have a real grievance, and I hope there may be some indication from the noble Viscount opposite that reasonable terms may be arranged, as I would rather not vote against a provision which is in the interests of the Universities.


My Lords, I am a, young member of this House but a fairly old member of Parliament, and perhaps your Lordships will allow me to say that never in the whole course of my Parliamentary experience did I listen to a more illuminating debate. We have had every point of view presented in what is the perfection of Parliamentary style—brief and with full knowledge—and at every stage there has come a question which has brought out a new aspect of the discussion. The noble and learned Earl opposite has just put a very pregnant question which, I think, has been too much lost sight of. It is all very well for my noble friend Lord Courtney to say that the publishers do not pay for the books. The publishers think they pay; that is obvious from what they have said. It does seem to me that if they have to pay more for producing each copy of a book, which upon even the hypothesis of my noble friend they must, then they do have to pay, and as they have to raise the price they lose chances of selling. The fact remains that for this or other reasons that very capable and well instructed profession thinks this is a very heavy burden upon it, and I have great sympathy with the view put by the noble and learned Earl opposite that the publishers should be considered in this matter. The noble Earl opposite, Lord Curzon, who so admirably sustains the great position of Chancellor of the University of Oxford, has given us a very powerful presentation of the case for the Bodleian Library. He said in the course of his speech truly enough that this is in many respects a new point, and that it was not included by the Government in their Bill as it was originally framed. That is so, and it was not included because it is a question really of very great difficulty, a question in which interests conflict, and in which it was extremely difficult for the Government, who did not wish to overload their Bill, thorny enough as it was without it, with this most thorny of points. But it has been raised now, and a decision has to be come to.

The view of the Government is that it is not a matter in which the Government as such should take a part. We propose to have the benefit of opinions in this House as to what decision should be come to on the point. Therefore in what I am going to say I am speaking for myself individually, and it may be that some of my friends and colleagues who sit on this Bench will not, if my noble friend goes to a Division, vote in the same Lobby as I shall. The noble Earl opposite discussed this—and I think it was a defect in his argument—too much as though the proposal were to exclude the great libraries of the Universities from the possession of books which they ought to have. I entirely sympathise with my noble friend behind me (Lord Courtney) in thinking that you ought to take the widest view of the contents of a University library—the widest view, that is, in point of quality. I do not think you ought to take, a restricted view of the books to be delivered to such an institution, and I do not believe the noble; Earl on the Cross Benches meant to limit them in that way.


Certainly not; I quite agree with what the noble Viscount says.


I have interpreted the noble Earl rightly. I feel sure, speaking as one who has had to do with Universities in his time and has to do with them now, that; no conception can be wide enough of the quality of the library of a University. At the same time, that is not a reason for thinking that a University should be overloaded with what, from the point of view of a University library, is often rubbish. It is no reason for thinking that every book published should be put in a University library. The noble and learned Lord asked, me what was the title of these four libraries other than the British Museum to the delivery of copies. It is given in Talfourd's Act, which provides that while in the case of the British Museum the publisher is bound to deliver, he is only bound to deliver those books which, are demanded by the University libraries. If a rational system had grown up, the librarians at the Universities would have looked at the catalogues from the various publishers, and would have written for those books which they wanted. Then I do not think any question would have arisen, even if they had asked for expensive editions. But that is not what they do. They put in a sort of omnibus demand for every book that appears. A clerk apparently makes out a list from the catalogue and demands every book, whatever its utility.


That is our whole case. They ask for every book.


But are the books named in general terms, or is it an order for all books published?


I am told the practice is that the catalogue conies out and the list is copied.


But is the list copied?


I dare say the practice varies. I am told the practice is to demand every book in the catalogue.


I think they are named as far as Cambridge University Library is concerned.


I am told that every book is asked for. That must form a heavy tax upon the publishers. I do feel that; and while sympathising thoroughly with the view that every book which is of what i may call University quality—of value for the purpose of education taken in its widest sense—should go to those libraries, there must be enormous quantities of books which are demanded and sent which are of no value from this point of view, and never ought to be asked for. This grievance has arisen because of the practice of demanding every book. I do think that that is a difficulty with which we ought to try to deal. Whether there is any other way of dealing with it than by excluding certain classes of books I am not sure. In the case of the Welsh National Library, what is proposed is that the Board of Trade should have power to exclude certain classes of books. There are large classes of books which certainly ought to be excluded—catalogues, time tables, sixpenny novels—but which at present go to such libraries. What is done with them, whether they are sold, given away, or destroyed, I do not know. It may be possible to make a classification—to draw up a clause which will go some way in that direction. I should be very sorry if this clause were to exclude books merely because of their expensiveness, but there are many expensive books which cannot be of any value to the Universities. 1 am speaking of classes of books which obviously on the face of them are not adapted for University purposes.

I have put very shortly my own individual view. I have not asked my noble friend beside me (Viscount Morley) whether he agrees with me or not. He may take another view. But we feel that this is a question on which we should like the House to give its advice, and I hope that advice will be got in the form of a Division taken on the Amendment of the noble and learned Lord. If the House, by voting for the Amendment, thinks that something ought to be done, then I should propose that between now and Report we should set to work to see whether the Amendment requires to be put into shape in order to obtain the object, at which I, for one, aim, of giving to the Universities every book they ought to have, and excluding others which on their face are not so adapted. Should your Lordships decide in favour of the Amendment, we will set to work and see in what form it is best to make this provision. I should think, in any event, the suggestion of the noble and learned Lord is a right one, that any order made by the Board of Trade on this subject should lie on the Table of both Houses of Parliament and should be subject to being made inoperative by an Address from either House. Unless both Houses concur in that order, at any rate at the present time, it would not be well to let the University libraries be exposed to any risk.


My Lords, I stand before your Lordships in an unwonted capacity—as a member of the Board of Trade. I do not know who the other members are, or whether they ever meet. I have never heard of a meeting, and I believe there is some doubt in the popular mind as to what that Board consists of. But I have been wondering during this debate whether my hitherto undiscovered functions have not at last been found, and possibly it may devolve, as it did two or three centuries ago, upon the occupant of my office to decide by a new form of censorship as to the admission or non-admission of particular books to particular portals. I have listened with the greatest interest to the speech just delivered on behalf of His Majesty's Government, who have declined to express any opinion on this point in favour or not in favour of their own Bill. I want to stand by the Government Bill. I believe the Bill to be, on the whole, and notwithstanding many difficulties, a reasonable and fair arrangement. But, if it requires amendment, why should we before the Report stage make a change in it which would prima facie give it a totally different character in order that we may afterwards modify it in some way? If alterations are required on Report, let them be made in the Bill as it now stands. I confess that in my own mind all the arguments I have heard—to my great misfortune I had an engagement which made it impossible for me to hear the noble Lord on the Cross Benches—but all I have heard since getting back to the House makes me believe that the Bill as it stands is reasonably good. We had better keep to it; as it is. We surely need not pass this Amendment in order to make an attempt to bring about some discrimination as to the books which ought or ought not to be added to the libraries in the great Universities of the Kingdom. I think the proposals as they stand are based on sound principles. I quite admit there may be particular cases in which publishers are rather hardly used. They may find it an expensive thing to carry out the injunction the Bill contains. But, as Lord Courtney has pointed out to-night, the publishers have their remedy from the British public who purchase books of an expensive kind, and I believe the burden will in the end fall upon the shoulders of the British public whatever decision we arrive at. Therefore I venture to hope the House will support the Government, and that the Government at this stage at least, and pending the possibility of some Amendment on Report, will adhere to their own Bill.

Resolved in the negative.

LORD GORELL proposed to amend the first line of subsection (2) by leaving out the word "within" and inserting "before the expiration of." The noble and learned Lord said: This Amendment is quite of a different character. The object is to clear up the provisions of the last part of subsection (7), which says that "in the case


My Lords, there is only one word I should like to say, and that is owing to the suggestion the noble Viscount opposite has made that this Amendment should be passed, and that it may be possible to consider between now and the Report stage some other method of carrying it out. I venture to suggest that that would be a very dangerous thing to do so far as the Universities are concerned. The Amendment, in my humble opinion, proposes something which the noble Earl (Lord Curzon) sitting beside me—and I quite agree with him—thinks is perfectly unworkable. That the Board of Trade should select and determine the books which ought to go to the University libraries seems to me a grotesque suggestion. We understand that that particular method is not necessarily to be adhered to, but I do think the House should have some indication, if it is to accept an Amendment of this sort, of a workable scheme for carrying out this most difficult operation.

On Question, whether the words proposed should be inserted?—

Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 15; Not-contents, 29.

Loreburn, E. (L. Chancellor.) Allendale, V. Haversham, L.
Haldane, V. Herschell, L.
Craven, E. Lawrence, L.
Cromer, E. [Teller.] Belhaven and Stenton, L. Redesdale, L.
Halsbury, E. Birthswood, L. Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Lovelace, E. Gorell, L. [Teller.]
Canterbury, L. Abp. Cobham, V. Colebrooke, L.
Morley of Blackburn, V. (L. President.) Falmouth, V. Courtney of Penwith, L.
Curzon of Kedleston, L.
Chesterfield, E. (L. Steward.) Gloucester, L. Bp. Granard, L. (E. Granard.)
Hindlip, L.
Beauchamp, E. O'Hagun, L.
Howe, E. Ashbourne, L. Oranmore and Browne, L.
Leven and Melville, E. Ashby St. Ledgers, L. Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Mayo, E. Balfour, L. Silchester, L. [E. Longford.,
Plymouth, E. [Teller.] Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.) [Teller.] Swaythling, L.
Tennyson, L.
Churchill, V. Colchester, L. Willingdon, L.

of an encyclopædia, newspaper, review, magazine, or work published in a series of books or parts, it shall not be necessary to make a separate claim for each number or part but a single claim for the whole work shall suffice. "When these parts come out at different periods it is not at all clear whether a general claim can be made which will work under the provisions of the first part of subsection (2), which says that the publisher, if written demand is made within twelve months after publication, shall deliver within one month after receipt of that written demand. It is impossible, if one claim can be made, to deliver within one month of the written demand for parts which are not yet published and will not be published for many months. The several Amendments which I propose, beginning with this one, are to make it clear how that demand should be met in the case of encyclopædias, &c, which are published over a lengthy period. I think, subject to any corrected drafting, these Amendments meet the difficulty. I do not know whether I need elaborate the point.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line I, leave out ("within") and insert ("before the expiration of").—(Lord Gorell.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I now move the other Amendments to which I referred.

Amendments moved—

Page 10, line 3, after ("demand") insert ("or it the demand was made before publication within one month after publication")

Page 10, line 10, after ("Wales") insert ("In the case of an encyclopaædia, newspaper, review, magazine, or work published in a series of numbers or parts, the written demand may include all numbers or parts of the work which may be subsequently published").— (Lord Gorell.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

THE EARL OF GALLOWAY had an Amendment on the Paper to leave out subsection (2) of Clause 15. The noble Lord said: After the Division that has just taken place I do not think I should trouble your Lordships by moving this Amendment. As your Lordships have rejected the smaller part you are not likely to accept the larger. At the same time I want to point out that in the course of this debate one thing has been overlooked, and that is the interest of the author. A good deal has been said about the publisher, who can always take care of himself. It is the author who will suffer from this, in spite of what Lord Courtney said, and I hope the noble Viscount who has charge of the Bill will, on Report, bring in something or other which will help to meet the difficulty. It is a very small House which is voting on this question, and I feel quite sure that when it is known throughout the country that individuals have to pay these large sums of money for the sake of these different institutions it will be seen that it is unfair, and that the country ought to pay for it. In the circumstances I shall not move the Amendment.


I presume that applies also to the noble Earl's other Amendment to leave out subsection (4)?


Yes; and to my Amendment to leave out subsection (5).

LORD ASHBOURNE proposed an Amendment to insert, after the word "alterations" in subsection (7) of Clause 15, the words "other than petty or verbal alterations." The noble and learned Lord said: This is a very small Amendment, and I question myself whether it is necessary. It is to meet what may be a grievance of the publisher being called upon to give a second edition for nothing when only a petty or trivial verbal alteration is made.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 34, after ("alterations") insert ("other than petty or verbal alterations").—(Lord Ashbourne.)


The difficulty about this—and it is one which I know the noble and learned Lord will appreciate—is that of putting a legal interpretation on the words. Take the word "verbal." A man publishes substantially the same work but improves his style, and it may make a very great difference to the book. He may produce a very much more valuable edition than the first edition, and yet the changes are only verbal. In that case the library would be deprived of the book. When you come to the word "petty," it is again very difficult to tell, because the mere addition of a foot-note may make all the difference to the value of a work.


I will not press the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I move to omit from the end of subsection (7) the words, "In the case of an encyclopædia, newspaper, review, magazine, or work published in a series of books or parts, it shall not be necessary to make a separate claim for each number or part but a single claim for the whole work shall suffice."

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 36, leave out from ("thereto") to the end of the clause.—(Lord Gorell.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 16:

Special Provisions as to certain Works.

16.—(1) In the ease of a work of joint authorship copyright shall subsist during the life of the author who first dies and for a term of fifty years after his death, or during the life of the author who dies last, whichever period is the longer, and references in this Act to the period after the expiration of any specified number of years from the death of the author shall be construed as references to the period after the expiration of the like number of years from the death of the author who dies first or after the death of the author who dies last, whichever period may be the shorter, and in the provisions of this Act with respect to the grant of compulsory licences a reference to the date of the death of the author who dies last shall be substituted for the reference to the date of the death of the author.

(2) Where in the case of an unpublished work of joint authorship some one or more of this joint authors do not satisfy the conditions conferring copyright laid down by this Act, the work shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as if the other author or authors had been the sole author or authors thereof:

Provided that the term of the copyright shall be the same as it would have been if all the authors had satisfied such conditions as aforesaid.

(3) For the purposes of this Act "a work of joint authorship" means a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not distinct from the contribution of the other author or authors.

(4) Where a married woman and her husband are joint authors of a work the interest of such married woman therein shall be her separate property in the same manner as if she were a feme sole.

*LORD GORELL proposed to leave out from subsection (2) the words "an unpublished" and insert "a." The noble and learned Lord said: This Amendment is simply to make the subsection apply both to published and unpublished works. The point is that if the subsection is allowed to stand as at present the clause would cease to operate on publication, and that would lead to a complication.

Amendment moved— Page 11, line 10, leave out ("an unpublished") and insert ("a").—(Lord Gorell.)


On the whole I think this is a good Amendment, and I accept it.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

*LORD GORELL proposed to omit from subsection (4) the words "in the same manner as if she were a feme sole." The noble and learned Lord said: This is only to make the matter plain to Scotland, where, I understand, the term is not known, and it; seems unnecessary to add these words.

Amendment moved— Page 11, lines 30 and 31, leave out from ("property") to the end of the clause.—(Lord Gorell.)


My noble and learned friend is right. In Scotland they do not know what a feme sole means.

On Question Amendment agreed to.

Clause 16, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 17:

Posthumous works.

17. In the case of a literary dramatic or musical work, or an engraving, in which copyright subsists at the date of the death of the author or, in the case of a work of joint authorship, at or immediately before the date of the death of the author who dies last, but which has not been published, nor, in the case of a dramatic or musical work, been performed in public, nor, in the case of a lecture, been delivered in public, before that date, copyright shall subsist till publication, or performance or delivery in public, whichever may first happen, and for a term of fifty years there after, unless previously determined by first publication elsewhere than in the parts of His Majesty's dominions to which this Act extends, and the proviso to section three of this Act shall, in the case of such a work, apply as if the author had died at the date of such publication or performance or delivery in public as aforesaid.

*LORD GORELL moved to leave out the word "or" in line 1 of the clause, and, after "musical," to insert "or artistic." The noble and learned Lord said: Your Lordships will see that this clause is confined to the case of a literary, dramatic, or musical work, or an engraving. There may be a reason I have not appreciated, but it seems to me it ought equally to apply to an artistic work. The object of this and the following two Amendments is to put in the word "artistic," and leave out "engraving," which would be covered by it.

Amendment moved— Page 11, line 32, leave out the first ("or"), and after ("musical") insert ("or artistic").—(Lord Gorell.)


I hope the noble and learned Lord will not press this Amendment. A distinction of a marked character was drawn between artistic works and those which are not artistic. The principle was this: extended posthumous production may safely be given in the case, of works of which the originals apart from reproduction are comparatively worthless. The manuscript of a book is a sufficiently obvious illustration. It is of no special value, and there is, as a rule, no reason for keeping it hidden. But in cases such as paintings and sculpture, and works of art generally, the original is valuable itself apart from the copyright, and such works may very well be hidden from the public in private collections. We think it is not good policy to put a premium upon such a proceeding. We do not want to encourage people to hide a picture away.


After what the noble Viscount has said I shall not proceed with the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I move to omit from Clause 17 the words "unless previously determined by first publication elsewhere than in the parts of His Majesty's dominions to which this Act extends." Those are words which your Lordships have already decided should be left out in another part of the Bill.

Amendment moved— Page 11, line 41, leave out from ("thereafter") to ("and") in line 2 on page 12.—(Lord Gorell.)


We accept that Amendment.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

*LORD GORELL moved to insert as a new subsection the following— ( ) The proprietorship of an author's unpublished manuscript after his death shall be prima facie proof of the copyright being with the proprietor of the manuscript.

The noble and learned Lord said: This Amendment deals with a point which was referred to both in the Report on which the Bill was drawn and in the notes prepared by the draftsman upon it. It raises the question of the position of the proprietor or owner of an author's unpublished manuscript after his death. There are cases in which a contest may arise between a man's representative and the person to whom he has left his manuscripts by will. It does not necessarily follow that the copyright goes with them. The copyright might belong to his personal representatives, whereas the manuscript itself might belong to the person to whom it was bequeathed. The object of the Amendment is to provide, in the case of an author's unpublished manuscript, that proprietorship should be prima facie proof of possession of the copyright. The point was considered by the Committee, who recommend [page 19 of their Report] that the provision which provides that the copyright is to be the property of the proprietor of the author's manuscript—that is the provision as it at present stands—should be altered, and that the mere possession of the manuscript should not be conclusive proof of the copyright being with the holder of the manuscript; in other words, that it should only be prima facie proof. That, I suggest, is reasonable.

Amendment moved—

Page 12, line 5, after ("aforesaid") insert the following new subsection: ( ) The proprietorship of an author's unpublished manuscript after his death shall be prima facie proof of the copyright being with the proprietor of the manuscript.—(Lord Gorell.)


I think there is a great deal in the point made by my noble and learned friend. No doubt he is Tight. But there does arise a serious question of drafting. I can conceive, with regard to copyright in private letters, I questions arising which would have to be carefully guarded. Therefore while I accept the Amendment I do so subject to the right of reconsidering the drafting before Report.


I would ask the noble Viscount to carefully consider the question of letters. At present the recipient of a letter has no power to publish it. This Amendment would possibly alter that law. If the owner of a letter were to be entitled to the copyright it would quite alter the law as it stands at present.


That point was drawn to my attention, but, unfortunately, not until after the Amendment was put down. I have considered it and communicated with the noble and learned Viscount on the subject, and I think this will be suggested as a matter to be dealt with on Report.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 17, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 18 agreed to.

Clause 19:


This clause deals with provisions as to mechanical instruments, and the Amendments standing in my name are merely drafting.

Amendments moved—

Page 13, line 27, after ("halfpenny") insert ("for each separate musical work in which copyright subsists reproduced thereon")

Page 13, line 41, leave out the first ("copyright"), and alter ("works") insert ("in which copyright subsists")

Page 15, line 40, and page 10, lines 1 and 2, leave out subsection (9).—(Viscount Haldane.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Clause 19, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 20 to 22 agreed to.

Clause 23:

Works of foreign authors first published in parts of His Majesty's dominions to which Act extends.

23. If it appears to His Majesty that a foreign country does not give, or has not undertaken to give, adequate protection to the works of British authors, it shall be lawful for His Majesty by Order in Council to direct that such of the provisions of this Act as confer copyright on works first published within the parts of His Majesty's dominions to which this Act extends, shall not apply to works published after the date specified in the Order, the authors whereof are subjects or citizens of such foreign country, and are not resident in His Majesty's dominions, and thereupon those provisions shall not apply to such works.


I do not think this clause ought to be allowed to pass without a remark. I would ask your Lordships to allow me to read the clause to you. [The noble Earl read the clause as set out above.] This to me is a most extraordinary clause to proceed from this Government. It is a piece of pure retaliation, as I understand it, and in my humble judgment it is a piece of very wise retaliation, but, as we know, retaliation is anathema maranatha to His Majesty's Government, if Lord Ridley were here I am sure he would give his blessing to this clause and congratulate His Majesty's Government on their conversion. I have observed that His Majesty's Government deal with this question of retaliation just exactly as it happens to suit their purpose at the moment. Let me give them an instance which occurs in the immediately preceding clause, which refers to the Patents Act of 1907. As we all know, that Act was entirely a Tariff Reform Act, just such an Act as Tariff Reformers would have passed. And here on this occasion we have Clause 23 inserted in this Bill. Therefore I hope that His Majesty's Government will not in future take up such an absolutely irreconcilable line against Tariff Reform—indeed, they do not, as I said before, when it suits their purpose. I am not going to ask them to strike this clause out. Far from it. I think they have acted very wisely and very properly; it will keep foreign nations on good terms with His Majesty's Government in this matter of copyright;: At the same time I think it is rather a strange clause to originate with His Majesty's Government.


I think the noble Earl opposite does His Majesty's Government an injustice from several points of view. In the first place, His Majesty's Government is not so peaceful as is contended. Secondly, the instances he has taken are not very fortunate instances. I cannot find the analogy with Tariff Reform. Tariff Reform may or may not be a good thing, but the Patents Act of 1907 was a very different Act. A patent is a monopoly, and what we said was that we were not any more going to let, people? take out patents in this country which deprived other people of the right of making things unless they conformed to certain conditions, one of which was that they manufactured them here. That is not anything like Tariff Reform. The Patents Act is simply a restriction on an existing right of monopoly—it is rather Free Trade; it encourages free trade in patents. It says that if an applicant for a patent does not agree to manufacture the article in this country he should not be allowed to prevent other people from manufacturing the article here.


Hear, hear.


That is not Tariff Reform; nor is this clause Tariff Reform.




We went into a Convention with certain Powers in 1907 and came to a bargain with them. They said to us, "We are willing to give your subjects copyright protection in our country if you will give our subjects copyright protection in yours, but obviously, if you do, then that must be done by a uniform set of conditions; they must be simpler than yours at the present time." We said it was quite right that anybody who published a book in this country, even if he is a foreigner, should get the protection which the law gives to British subjects. We put the foreigner on the same footing. According we say in this clause, "If you come here and publish your book here we will treat you just as well as any one of our own subjects." But we say to anybody who will not do that, who maltreats our people by refusing the benefit of the Copyright laws, "If you come here you cannot expect to get the benefit of the Copyright law." That is not Tariff Reform.




There is no more analogy between that and Tariff Reform than there is between the case of the Patents Act and Tariff Reform. Criticise His Majesty's Government as much as you like, but do not paint them in the character of Tariff Reformers when they are bringing in a Bill which is very remote from that subject.


The noble and learned Viscount is very pleased with this clause. So are we. All that he objects to is the clause being baptised in a way not mentioned in the marginal note. But however the clause may be described the argument of it is, "Unless you treat us in a particular way we will treat you in another particular way." That may not be Tariff Reform, but it is a very good imitation.

On Question, Clause 23 agreed to.

Clause 24:


This clause deals with existing works, and the Amendment standing in my name is a drafting and consequential Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 18, lines 24 and 25, leave out ("of this Act as to copyright under the Copyright Act, 1775") and insert ("of section 19, subsections (7) and (8), and of section 33 of this Act").— (Viscount Haldane.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 24, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 25 to 28 agreed to.

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