25 APRIL 1941, Page 12


Sts,—In his interesting article "English as Lingua Franca," Mr. Stanislaw Kozakiel.vicz asks two questions in regard to English publishers to which I would venture to reply.

To the first, whether English publishers ever tried to overcome their difficulties with Continental distribution by adopting the system of a double scale of prices, the answer is that the late T. Fisher Unwin made a valiant attempt- with Unwin's Library, the copies of which were printed on thirufer and cheaper paper simultaneously with the home-edition, and bound in paper-covers for distribution from Leipzig. The need for a separate edition of this kind has to a large extent been obviated by the many cheap reprints of English books now available, with which even Tauchnitz was finding it difficult to compete. To the second question, whether English publishers have ever been seriously interested in the increased penetration of English books into East Central European countries, the answer is that one or twu of us have taken the greatest interest in the problem, but that since 1918 currency- and credit-difficulties have proved a most formidable barrier. Thanks, however, to the Book Exports Scheme fostered by the British Council, it was a barrier we looked like getting over, but for the overrunning by Germany of so ear' ty of the countries concerned.

I can bear out from personal knowledge and experience what Mr. Kozakiewicz says about the spontaneous increase of the desire to learn English. 14 is true, not merely of Poland, but of the greater part of the Continent. Herr Hitler can justifiably be given some credit for it.—Yours faithfully, STANLEY UNW1N, George Allen and Unrcen, Ltd., Governing Director. 40 Museum Streei,