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Newsprint (Weekly Papers)

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 24 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the recent cut in newsprint will cause weekly newspapers to be of a smaller size than at any time previously; and if he will arrange for a more equable distribution of newsprint to see that weekly newspapers can adequately present news.

The distribution of the cut was agreed upon by a body including the representatives of all classes of newspapers, London and provincial, and I see no grounds for regarding it as inequitable. In fact, the weekly papers w 11 generally suffer a reduction of one page in eight, and the national dailies one page in five, or an equivalent amount in circulation.

May I ask the President of the Board of Trade if he now says that the newspapers have willingly agreed to this cut, and, secondly, if he does not realise the great part which weekly newspapers play in the life of the community, and if he will not be a little more sympathetic?

I certainly realise that, and I am very sympathetic, but what I said was that the distribution of the cut was agreed upon, not that they agreed on the cut itself.