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New Periodicals For Overseas (Advisory Committee)

Volume 436: debated on Thursday 24 April 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give consideration to the granting of licences for one or more periodicals for circulation overseas in order to secure a wider knowledge and understanding abroad of this country.

My right hon. and learned Friend has given very full consideration to the Question put by my hon. Friend. It is, unfortunately, still not possible to provide the paper for new periodicals generally, but it is desirable, in the national interest, that facilities should be given to one or more publishers who may desire to produce a new periodical which will serve the purpose which my hon. Friend has in mind. This will involve the selection of a suitable project from the applications that may be presented, and a committee has been appointed which will advise on the selection. The composition of the committee will be as follows;—

  • Lord Layton—Chairman.
  • Mr. C. R. Morris—Headmaster, King Edward's School Birmingham.
  • Mr. S. J. Brown—Managing Director, Amalgamated Press, Ltd.
  • Mr. W. C. Nisbet—Director, Illustrated Newspapers Ltd.
  • Mr. W. J. Dickinson—Director, Hultons Press, Ltd.
A Press announcement to this effect is being issued, and applications will be considered at an early date.

Will the hon. Gentleman be a little bit more specific about what purpose his Tight hon. and learned Friend has in mind? What type of periodicals will be considered?

The purpose my right hon. and learned Friend has in mind is the purpose set out in my hon. Friend's Question. He asked for one or more periodicals for circulation overseas in order to secure a wider knowledge and understanding abroad of this country, and that is precisely the kind of periodical we are proposing.

A new periodical designed to spread knowledge and understanding of this country abroad.

Does the hon. Gentleman not think that there are sufficient papers in existence in London already to spread that knowledge and understanding?

Will the hon. Gentleman, if he is going to take care of new periodicals, assure me he will do nothing to prevent my getting the "Daily Herald"?

I should be very sorry, indeed, to prevent the hon. Gentleman getting the enlightenment I am sure he can obtain from the "Daily Herald." In answer to the previous supplementary question, I would say I would not accept it that we can continue for ever to rely on existing periodicals. I believe in allowing new avenues of thought to be opened up.

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether these periodicals will be in the English language, or in the language of the countries to which they are being exported? Can I emphasise what was said—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] May I ask the Minister if he will give us some idea of the things which the Government are trying to put across— culture, music or scenery?

Understanding and knowledge of this country. I am afraid I cannot say what form the publications will take until we have considered the applications and considered what they are.