§ Mr. Greenway
asked the Minister for the Arts what action he proposes to take over the continued banning of News International newspapers by some local authorities from their public libraries.
§ Mr. Luce
My inquiries have shown that five authorities against whom complaints have been made have never imposed or have now lifted a ban, 13 are maintaining a ban and two have not yet replied. I am not satisfied. I therefore propose to take the first step in the formal exercise of my default powers under the Public Libaries and Museums Act 1964. I have instructed my officials to write on my behalf to the 15 authorities from whom I have not yet received satisfactory replies. The letter clarifies the legal position, advises all authorities which are or may be in breach of the law to reconsider their position and requests the relevant documentary evidence. I am placing the text of the letter in the Library of the House.