With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 17 together.
There were two printings of the first edition of Facts about Ireland. The first printing in 1963 totalled 53,201 copies at a cost of £9,312. Of that number 31,722 copies were sold abroad or were distributed through our Missions. In addition, 9,100 copies were sold to State-sponsored bodies but I have no information as to the number of copies which they distributed abroad. The net cost of the copies sent abroad by the Department was £2,924.
The corresponding figures for the second printing in 1965 were 48,362 copies printed at a cost of £7,620 and 36,800 copies sold or distributed abroad at a net cost of £5,483. In addition, 3,100 copies were sold to State-sponsored bodies.
A second edition, incorporating new material and up-to-date statistics, running to 30,000 copies was published recently at a cost of £8,400. It is now on sale in Ireland and arrangements are being made for its sale and distribution abroad.
General information handbooks on the same pattern as Facts about Ireland with the emphasis on facts and statistics, are issued by many countries. The booklet is very useful to our Missions when dealing with a wide variety of enquiries from journalists, businessmen, students and prospective visitors to Ireland.
Facts about Ireland is not, nor is it intended to be, a history of Ireland. Out of the 110 pages there are only a few devoted to a very brief sketch of Irish history from ancient to modern times. The booklet is mainly devoted to explaining the constitutional organisation of the State and to describing the social, economic and cultural life in Ireland today. For those whose interest may be aroused by reading the booklet, in contains a list of 150 books on ancient and modern Irish history, literature, art and economics. It includes at least 15 histories and biographies dealing with the history of the years 1916 to 1923 and the leaders of the period.