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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 11. 1964.

Letters to the Editor — Hi-Jinks In Book Trade

Letters to the Editor

Hi-Jinks In Book Trade

Sir.—Some months ago I ordered a USA Department of Health Education and Welfare bulletin from a Wellington firm. After about two months delay I collected the bulletin on being advised that it had arrived from America.

After I had paid 10 6 for it, I found, inside the front cover, a complimentary card from the USA information branch concerned, with "no charge" typed on the bottom.

When I phoned them, the bookseller apologised profusely for leaving the card inside the bulletin. The manager also asked me to bring the bulletin back so that he could see it with a view to ordering more in future years. However, he made no reference to a refund.

After a short delay. I took the bulletin back to the bookseller and inquired about the charge, which I considered rather excessive.

The manager was extremely evasive when I asked him whether or not he had been charged for the bulletin, and was unwilling or unable to provide any invoice for it. After further discussion he refunded 5/6, for which I signed a receipt.

As far as I can see, his expenses amounted to an airmail letter to the USA. and an advice card to me. If this is so. his profit would have been well above any reasonable profit margin, had he not made the 5/6 refund.

I suggest that it is now time for the Student Association to employ someone on a part-time basis to obtain from Britain and the USA books which are not readily available here. It would be necessary for the person employed to negotiate with the government to obtain the necessary foreign exchange. Alternatively, the Students' Association could advise students to which publishers and bookshops they should apply, and advise them of the means of acquiring the necessary exchange, eg, it might be possible to purchase sterling at about 120 per cent from brokers in Wellington.

There is one series of books which, if bought in Wellington, cost about 30/-, but only 19/- plus postage if sent from London, and these books can be obtained quicker by the latter method.

Yours faithfully,

R. H. Dewhurst