HC Deb 16 March 1943 vol 387 cc1044-5W
Mr. E. Smith

asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent any non-Government organisation is responsible for the running and financing of the Forces Book Club; to what purpose the profits of the club are devoted; whether the director of the Army Bureau of Current Affairs is still acting as a member of the selection committee of Penguin Books, Limited, as well as of that of the Forces Book Club; and what proportion of the books selected for distribution through the Forces Book Club during the last six months were published by Penguin Books, Limited?

Sir J. Grigg

The Forces Book Club is intended to enable a supply of books to reach the soldier, sailor and airman such as he might be expected to buy for himself if he could. The club is financed by the subscriptions of its members. These are units and establishments in the Services. The production and despatch of the books to the Services Central Book Depot is open to any publisher who is prepared to accept the terms offered. Hitherto only Penguin Books have done so. After paying for the cost of producing and distributing the books from the subscriptions it is not expected that there will be a balance left as a profit. The Director of A.B.C.A. is a member of the Penguin Books selection committee and, in virtue of his appointment in the War Office, he also is a member of the Forces Book Club panel.

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