HC Deb 16 February 1920 vol 125 cc564-6W

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has again been directed by the Scottish Library Association to the serious financial position of Scottish public libraries owing to the limitation of the library rate to 1d. in the pound; whether he is aware that several of the authorities fear that they may be compelled to close their buildings; and whether, having regard to the great importance of the work of public libraries in educational and other reconstruction at the present time and the fact that an Act has been passed for England and Wales abolishing the statutory limitation, he is now in a position immediately to introduce similar legisla- tion for Scotland or take such other action as will assist Scottish public library authorities in their present grave difficulty?


I have received a communication of the nature indicated from the Scottish Library Association, but the urgency of the question has not recently been pressed on me from any other quarter. My hon. Friend will recognise the importance of considering fully the views of the rating authorities in such a matter. I am informed that the Convention of Royal Burghs proposes to discuss the question early in April and to submit their views thereafter. I am awaiting also the observations of the Parish Councils Association.