HC Deb 15 December 1960 vol 632 cc82-3W
Mr. Kelley

asked the Minister of Education what further progress has been made in his discussions with local authorities about the future of the library service in the light of the Roberts Report; and what action he now intends to take in the matter.

Sir D. Eccles

The Government's intention is that the Minister of Education shoulld have a general responsibility for the oversight of the public library service, with power to appoint advisory councils for both England and Wales, and that public library authorities should be required to discharge a statutory duty to provide an efficient service. As I stated on 7th November, however, further study of certain problems is needed before legislation can be drafted. Accordingly, I propose after consulting the local authorities' associations and library interests concerned, to appoint two small working parties: one to examine further, from a technical point of view, the basic requirements for an efficient service, the other, to study more closely the problems of inter-library co-operation.