§ Mr. Naylor
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he has any statement to make concerning the practicability of publishing a weekly issue of the OFFICIAL REPORT, HANSARD.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Glenvil Hall)
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I will make a statement at the end of Questions.
I have suggested to the Select Committee on Publications and Debates Reports of which my hon. Friend the Member for South-East Southwark (Mr. Naylor) is Chairman, that there should be a weekly issue of the Official Report in addition to the present daily issue. That Committee, I am pleased to say, has recommended the proposal to you, Mr. Speaker, and you have been good enough to approve it. The weekly edition will consist of the daily issues unaltered but stitched together in a distinctive cover. By closing the week with the Thursday issue, leaving the Friday issue for inclusion in the following week, it will be possible to have the weekly edition available in London on Friday and other parts of the country on Saturday. The price will be is. 6d. a week or approximately 3 ½d. per copy and there will be a subscription rate of £3 per annum post-free.
It is hoped that publication in this new and cheaper form will not only be a convenience to hon. Members who now remit copies daily to their constituencies, but also to a growing number of libraries, clubs, institutions and persons who desire to follow our proceedings. I am hoping that unless there is some unexpected hitch it will be possible to make a start with the weekly edition when the House reassembles.
§ Sir T. Moore
Might I ask the hon. Gentleman if these weekly editions will be bound in cloth and boards, because otherwise they will not fulfil the purpose to which he referred at the end of his answer, that is, to be kept in libraries and institutions?
§ Mr. Hall
Not at the moment. The difficulty about the index, of course, is that it could not be prepared in time to get the weekly edition out on the Friday, and we understand that people would prefer to have it on Friday rather than later with an index. There was a Question about an 1113 index which came earlier and perhaps 1 might say now, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, that an index is now being prepared in manuscript and that about six copies of it, we hope, will be available week by week in the Library following our return after Christmas.
§ Mr. Hulbert
May I ask the Financial Secretary, first, will these weekly editions be circulated free to hon. Members; secondly, what is a "distinctive" cover?
§ Mr. Hall
I understand that every hon. Member is entitled to two copies, one for himself and one that he may, if he wishes, send to his Division. It is hoped that, instead of sending them off daily as they do now, and thus giving a certain amount of work in the Vote Office, hon. Members will be prepared to wait and send them once a week. With regard to the distinctive cover, what we hope to do, subject to Mr. Speaker's agreement, is to make the cover of the weekly edition something different from the plain white cover with its overprinting with which we are all familiar.