HC Deb 19 July 1938 vol 338 cc2009-10W
Mr. Alan Herbert

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been drawn to the large number of unnecessary full stops at the end of headings in Government publications; whether he is aware that His Majesty's printer is now the only important printer who maintains this practice; and whether he will instruct His Majesty's printer, in the interests of economy and good printing, to abandon it?

Captain Wallace

Modern printing practice is to avoid unnecessary full stops in displayed headings and there are none in ordinary Government publications, including Command Papers. The standing instructions are to omit them. It is a matter of taste or fashion rather than of "good" or "bad" printing, and the saving by the omission is too infinitesimal to be calculable.

My hon. Friend probably has in mind such documents as Bills, Votes and Proceedings, and the like, which are ordered by the House to be printed. For these the "copy" is supplied directly to the printer by officials of the House, or by Parliamentary Counsel, and I should not feel justified in giving instructions to the printers to alter the long-standing format in which they are set without consultation with the authorities concerned. I am in communication with them on the subject.

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