Read transcripts of debates in both Houses
Produced by Commons Library, Lords Library and Parliamentary Office Science and Technology
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This is the first weekly edition of Hansard for proceedings in the Commons, from 22 to 24 January 1946 and it is made up of three daily parts. It was introduced as a way of bringing Parliament to more people more cheaply, and to capitalise on the obvious politicisation of much of British society following the end of the Second World War and the Labour victory in the 1945 general election. Buying five daily parts at sixpence each would cost 2/6 or half a crown, and this was deemed too expensive. Glenvil Hall, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, considered alternatives, which included producing a summary of the debates, as the French Parliament still does, but this was rejected as being too political; lowering the cost of the daily part was rejected because it would bring immediate losses, and the then Debates Committee rejected Hall’s suggestion of publishing adverts on the inside covers of Hansard. Hall also suggested publishing all five daily parts in one weekly edition, in time for weekend reading, at a price of 1/6. Mr Speaker and the Debates Committee agreed and Sir Francis Meynell, who founded the Nonesuch Press and Pelican books, was brought in to produce the publication.
The House of Lords followed suit in October 1947, but undercut Commons Hansard with the cover price of one shilling. The last weekly edition for the Lords was published in 2011 and that for the Commons in 2010, both steps being taken as ways to save money on the parliamentary printing bill.
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