Sir G. HAMILTON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that Albert Close, publisher of the deep sea fishermen's charts for 28 years, was prosecuted and fined £11 5s. at Bow Street Police Court on 13th November, 1930, on a charge of infringing the copyright of Admiralty charts which bore no "Crown copyright reserved" inscription on their title pages, as required by Treasury Minute No. 12,292/12, of 28th June, 1912; that this Treasury Minute was suppressed at the prosecution and its existence was only discovered 10 months later at the British Museum; that the Stationery Office denied its existence until Mr. Close procured a photograph of the copy in the British Museum; that two hours before Mr. Close's appearance at Bow Street Police Court, with a photographic copy, to apply for a rehearing, the Stationery Office sent 12 copies, 768W although they had returned his money nine days previously; that Mr. Close has been compelled to dismiss his employés and cease all further publication of new fishermen's charts; and will he therefore order a refund to Mr. Close of the fine and costs and in future permit the free use of Admiralty charts for British deep sea fishermen?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I am informed that the facts are as stated in the first part of the question. Crown copyright is not affected by the terms of the Treasury Minute, and, as the hon. Member is aware, the existence of the copyright has more than once been explained to Mr. Close. There was no suppression of the Minute, which was originally incorrectly described by the applicant and when identified was found to be out of print; copies were supplied as soon as possible. I have no information with regard to the fifth part of the question, and the answer to the last part is in the negative.