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English Books (Translations)

Volume 439: debated on Wednesday 9 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Arabic and Hebrew translations of books by English authors have been published in Palestine during the past five years; what assistance was given by the Palestine Government or the British Council; and what further steps are contemplated to spread a knowlege of English literature in Palestine.

Five Arabic and ninety. Hebrew translations of books by English authors were published in Palestine during the past five years. Financial assistance by the Government and the British Council has been confined to books of specific educational value. Instruction in English is included in the curricula of the Arab and Jewish schools and in general both Arabs and Jews who receive a higher education read English books in the originals. There is no shortage of English books in the shops and libraries. The British Council is active in promoting increased study of English through its Institutes and libraries and lessons in the English langage are broadcast by the Palestine Broadcasting Service.

I did not quite hear the right hon. Gentleman. Was I right in thinking that the figures were five and 90 and, if so, can he explain this apparent discrepancy, and will he place in the library a list of English books of educational value which have been translated?

I am unable to explain these circumstances, except to say that these books are published by private publishers, but if it is possible to obtain the list required, I will do so and put it in the Library.