6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 4

On the detailed merits of the controversy Mr. Stanley Unwin

is carrying on in the columns of The Times with Trinity College, Dublin, I have no desire to pronounce. But on the fundamental fact on which the argument hinges there is room for very definite views. Under the existing Copyright Act pub- lishers are compelled to supply free on request—and the request is never lacking—one copy of every book they publish, however costly, to the British Museum and to the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Wales—and to Trinity College, Dublin. The Act was passed in 1911, when Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom. Today Eire is to all intents and purposes an independent State, and there can be no more reason why British publishers should be required to present books to Dublin than to Toronto or Melbourne Universities—from some aspects, much less. Eire says we cannot have her ports, and we submit with a good grace. She could have no conceivable ground for complaint if we said she could not have our books— gratis. For my part I hope we shall say it, even though it involves an amendment of the Copyright Act.

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