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Ships' Libraries (House Of Commons Official Report)

Volume 390: debated on Wednesday 2 June 1943

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many ships' libraries are supplied with books at the public expense; and how many of such libraries are kept regularly supplied with bound volumes of Hansard?

Apart from motor torpedo boats, motor launches and certain other small craft, all H.V. ships have libraries which are supplied and maintained at Government expense. For small craft, libraries provided at Government expense are available in the base or shore establishment to which such craft are attached. H.M. ships are also provided with newspapers and magazines at Government expense. The foregoing facilities, particularly so far as small ships are concerned, are supplemented by the organisation known as the Royal Naval War Libraries, which is supported partly by public subscription and partly by Treasury grant. Bound volumes of Hansard are not included in any of the libraries provided for H.M. ships.

Will my right hon. Friend make daily copies available at any rate to libraries at large shore establishments?

I should be glad to consider making these facilities available at any time if it became a general request from the personnel of the Fleet.

Would my right hon. Friend agree to consider the correspondence which I have received from commanding officers of large establishments asking whether it is possible to arrange for Hansard to be supplied for their information?

I will certainly consider any submission that my hon. and gallant Friend makes.

Is it not really an astonishing belittling of Parliamentary debate that neither people in ships nor even His Majesty's Ambassadors abroad are thought to be desirous of reading Parliamentary Debates?