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Obscene Publications

Volume 202: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, following the publication of the Marquis de Sade's "Juliette", he has any plans to meet book publishers in the United Kingdom to discuss the publication of books openly advocating sadism, torture, child abuse and other such practices.

I have no plans to do so. The Government in this country have no powers to ban or censor books or other publications. It is for publishers to ensure that they abide by the criminal law. If they do not, they can be prosecuted and punished, but Ministers cannot intervene in this.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received concerning the publication of the book, "Juliette," by the Marquis de Sade.

I have received a number of representations from Members of Parliament and others.