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Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 20 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War why he has decided to increase to 48 pages the size of the magazine, "Soldier," issued by his Department; what is the circulation of this publication and the profit or loss made on it; how much paper is used for an issue of the present size; and to what extent this quantity will be increased by the increase in size.

I am sorry that this answer is a little long. The magazine "Soldier" was originally produced fortnightly and distributed in Rhine Army only. A number of other overseas Commands also produced periodicals. During 1946, owing to the release of many technical personnel and the reduction in size of the Army, it became impracticable to continue "Soldier" on a fortnightly basis, and a number of periodicals in other overseas Commands had to cease production altogether. It was, therefore, decided to produce "Soldier" on a monthly basis, and to put it on sale to the forces in all Commands. The size of the pages was reduced though their number was increased in order to carry smaller illustrations and more matter of interest to Commands other than B.A.O.R. The circulation of this publication is at present 104,000, and it is sold at such a price as is estimated will cover costs of production. The quantity of paper now being used is approximately 20 tons per issue, and the additional pages will require a further four tons per issue. The total consumption of paper will, however, still be less than when the original magazine was produced fortnightly.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the publishers of this production are circularising potential advertisers with the statement that there is extra advertising space available in this production, and does he in those circumstances, consider that this substantial allocation of paper is justified?

Yes, Sir, I think so. No doubt other periodical proprietors would not agree.