§ 4. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware of the increased demand for technical books consequent upon the growth and development of mining communities in Trent Vale, Meir, Hanford, Newstead and Blurton; and whether he will accordingly reconsider his refusal to allow the construction and operation of public libraries by the city of Stoke-on-Trent.
§ Mr. Powell
The only scheme for a new library submitted to my right hon. Friend by the Stoke-on-Trent City Council since the war is one for Meir. While he appreciates the city council's desire to provide better library facilities for the growing population of this area, my right hon. Friend regrets that he cannot see his way, in existing circumstances, to sanction a loan for this purpose.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Those of us who go about the country see huge blocks of flats and offices going up in all the big cities and, if that can take place, surely it is a reasonable suggestion to make that provision should be made for miners, in particular, to have access to technical books? Will the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to consider the matter in the light of this supplementary question?
§ Mr. Powell
If capital expenditure by local authorities is to be restricted as the national situation requires, then expenditure of this kind must for the time being be deferred.