HC Deb 23 October 1968 vol 770 cc292-3W
68. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is aware that English newspapers cost Service personnel in British Army of the Rhine approximately four times the market price in in England; that The Times and the Financial Times cost 60 pfennigs, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror and Daily Sketch 50 pfennigs, and The Guardian 45 pfennigs; and if he will provide Service transport to enable English newspapers to reach them at prices bearing reasonable relationship to the market price in England, plus transport costs.

Mr. Boyden

The prices which the hon. Gentleman is quoting are those charged by voluntary organisations under arrangements made with the Newspaper Proprietors Association. They are in fact 2½ rather than 4 times those charged in this country, and they involve the Association in a considerable loss. The prices of these newspapers are taken into account in fixing the Local Overseas Allowance. In addition there is a Concessionary Newspaper Scheme subsidised from public funds, under which units overseas are entitled to purchase newspapers on the scale of one per five persons at current United Kingdom prices.

In these circumstances the answer to the last part of the question must be "no".