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History Of Parliament

Volume 320: debated on Monday 22 February 1937

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65.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the new History of Parliament costs £2 a volume, less a discount on buying more volumes than one, and that such a price, even with discount, makes it too expensive for most Members of Parliament, and is also so high that the circulating libraries will not stock it; and, in view of the interest of its publication to Members, will he arrange for them to be able to buy it at a price substantially lower?

It was only on the understanding that no net charge should fall upon public funds that my right hon. Friend consented to the publication and sale of these volumes by the Stationery Office, and the selling price was fixed at the lowest rate consistent with this condition. It is, of course, open to the responsible Committee to arrange for the sale of volumes to Members of Parliament at a special discount if they are prepared to make good the difference at the cost of the Compilation Fund; but I cannot see my way to make the proposed concession at the expense of the general taxpayer.

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that a great many private people have subscribed to this work, and that those who have subscribed should not have to pay the full price for their volumes, as they have already contributed substantially for the work?

These subscriptions would go to the compilation fund generally.