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Paper Supplies (Allocation)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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29.

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production what amount of paper has been allotted each month for use by football pools; and if he is satisfied that, when school books and other necessary scientific books are in short supply, any allotment should be made for football pools.

During the football season paper will be allocated at the rate of 50 tons a month, which is about 1per cent. of the pre-war consumption. As regards the second part of the Question, I would point out that as from the end of this month paper will be allocated for books at the rate of 3,400 tons a month, which is about 65 percent. of pre-war consumption.

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he could not, even at this late hour, persuade the objectors to allow football pool coupons to appear in newspapers as hitherto and thus save quite a lot of paper?

That question raises another issue to which I cannot give an answer now.

35.

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production the tonnage of paper now allowed to publishers of educational books; and how much is allowed for booklets and pamphlets issued for propaganda purposes.

The allocation of paper to book publishers generally is being raised as from next month to 65 per cent. of their pre-war consumption. I cannot say what tonnage of this is used by them for educational books. In addition, paper is supplied for the Services' Educational Scheme. The Board of Trade also administers a special reserve to make possible the publication of important books which would not otherwise be produced. A large proportion of this reserve goes to educational books. Booklets and pamphlets fall within a general category of miscellaneous printing usages the publishers of which will be licensed with paper up to 20 per cent. of their pre-war consumption.

would the Minister endeavour to look into this question of propaganda, because all Members of the House are inundated with useless pamphlets, and will he see that it is stopped?

It would be, I think, undesirable to embark upon a policy of paper rationing which might seem to be a means of censorship.

Could not the right hon. Gentleman dip into his archives and find out how much of this paper to which reference is made was used for the publication of "Tory M.P." and "Your M.P."?

Could the Minister arrange to inform the publishers of these pamphlets that hon. Members opposite really do not want to read them?

In view of the fact that capitalists have control over all the big newspapers for purposes of propaganda, will the Minister put no obstacle in the way of—[Interruption].