13 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 4

The question of the free books which publishers must send

to the University Libraries at Oxford and Cambridge, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales (not, as I erroneously said last week, the University of Wales), and to Trinity College, Dublin, as well as to the British Museum, is still being vigorously can- vassed, and I shall be surprised if in the end Trinity College does not lose -its free books. A country which interns British airmen when they make forced landings and censors films showing British children wearing gas-masks (lest the spectacle should stimulate sympathy with Britain and indignation with Germany) can have no shred of claim on the bounty of British publishers, and it is a serious imposition on the latter that they should still

be bound by an Act of 19x1, passed when the political associa- tions between the two countries were totally different. Eire can hardly expect to lose what she calls her fetters but to keep her privileges all the same. * * * *