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Book Production

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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37.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that large printing plants suitable for book production are standing idle in Germany; and if he will take steps to enable these to be utilised to ease the book production difficulties in this country.

Owing to scarcity of fuel, paper, and other necessary supplies, printing and binding plant in the British zone of Germany may well be idle at present. Import licences will be given to firms in this country willing and able to buy such machinery if it is suitable for use here. It is also open to firms to find out whether the plant could be used in Germany for printing, or for binding printed matter sent there for the purpose. They would, of course, have to assure themselves that the necessary supplies of paper, binding cloth, etc., were available.

38.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the obstacles which prevent the purchase from Canada of a substantial quantity of paper, suitable for book production, at under £40 a ton.

I am not aware of any substantial quantity of paper which would be available at the price stated without detriment to our current supplies, but if my hon. Friend will let me have further details I will investigate the matter.