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Printed Matter (Paper Supply)

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether a reduction has been effected in the amount of paper made available for the publication "Soldier," issued by his Department, proportionate to the reduction imposed by His Majesty's Government on daily newspapers.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that this publication is now an affair of 48 pages; and is it not a little unfair that it should be permitted to use paper on this scale when the popular Press is reduced to four pages?

I do not think so. It serves a very useful purpose. At any rate, there is no discrimination between this publication and other publications of a similar nature run by private enterprise.

Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there is no one class of newspaper which is more appreciated by men in the Forces than their local newspaper; and would he not consider using some of the paper allocated to this publication to bring the local newspapers back to something more nearly approximating to their normal size?

No, I do not think I could do that, because the allocation of this paper comes from the Control Commission for Germany. I would say that this publication is very greatly appreciated by members of the Forces.

How is paper obtained for a publication which was not published in 1939, before the war, when such a prohibition applies to all civilian publications?

That question is much too technical for me to answer. I suggest that the hon. and gallant Member apply to the President of the Board of Trade, who knows the answer.

But it is the Secretary of State for War who publishes this publication.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a reduction in the purchases by his Department of the publications of the Bureau of Current Affairs, proportionate to the reductions in newsprint imposed by His Majesty's Government on the daily newspapers.

No, Sir, but in view of the continuing shortage in the supply of paper special instructions have been issued in the War Office that every effort is to be made to reduce demands for printed matter, including instructional literature of this kind.

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not allow his natural modesty to prevent him from conveying his own good example to his colleagues, with particular reference to the Minister of Fuel and Power?

No. I would prefer that hon. Members opposite made. those references to my colleagues.

Will the Minister ensure that all the copies of these publications which are supplied are displayed to the best advantage, and are not tucked away in orderly rooms and other places?

Yes, Sir. I am constantly trying to see that all publications like these are used to the best possible advantage by the troops.

Is the Minister aware that if he gets as many attacks and criticisms from hon. Members opposite as the Minister of Fuel and Power does, he will be a very popular man with the working classes?