HL Deb 24 May 1976 vol 371 cc115-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the unjustified gloom about the general position of British achievement in both the public and private sectors, they will arrange for the widest possible distribution of the HMSO publication Britain 1976, An Official Handbook, for example by placing it on sale in bookshops generally and making it available to newspaper editors throughout the country.

The LORD PRIVY SEAL (Lord Shepherd)

: Britain 1976, An Official Handbook is the 27th edition of this official handbook, which is prepared annually by the Reference Division of the Central Office of Information with the collaboration of other Government Departments and national agencies. It is sold in all HMSO bookshops, and copies were sent at publication time to the 36 commercial booksellers who act as HMSO official agents. HMSO promotes its sale by means of Press advertising and the distribution of 2,500 brochures to potential United Kingdom customers and 6,500 to overseas customers.

The Central Office of Information undertakes the distribution of review copies to the national and regional media and also sends 6,000 brochures to overseas posts for local distribution. The 1976 edition was published on 8th January 1976. The print was 25,000 and the current stock is around 4,000 copies. About 11,000 copies are distributed by the Central Office of Information to overseas posts for local distribution.