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Wednesday, 18 February 1959

Mr HAYLEN (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Prime Minister a question concerning the continued banning and censorship of a book called " Borstal Boy ", written by an Irishman named Brendan Behan. This book is available throughout all civilized countries of the world, with the exception of Australia and one or two backward republics.

Mr Menzies - I understand that it is banned in Ireland.

Mr HAYLEN - When I sought to obtain a copy of this book, and one of another book called " Lolita ", which is also banned, I was told that those books were in the exclusive charge of the Minister for Customs and Excise. I think that the Minister should share a good thing and not keep it to himself for so long if it is not to be made available to the general public. I ask the Prime Minister, who is head of the Commonwealth Literary Fund in Australia, and who is something of a literary figure these days, to inquire carefully into the reasons for banning "Borstal Boy", which is a tough and powerful story of slum life, and for banning " Lolita ", which is a well written story by a Russian author. Can the right honorable gentleman give me some help with respect to these books?

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