asked the Minister of Supply why about 11 tons of paper of the wrong type was sent to Paris about the end of August and had to be replaced; what was the cost to the taxpayer in transport by air and delay; and if he will take disciplinary action against those concerned.
I have been asked to reply. During the early stages of the Economic Co-operation Conference at Paris, it became evident that the local supplies of paper available to the International Secretariat were insufficient to meet a special and urgent demand. At the request of the Secretariat, the United Kingdom Delegation undertook to assist and the necessary paper was obtained from London. This paper which was of the type asked for, was sent to Paris in the freight space available on aircraft which had already been chartered to carry official passengers for the conference who could not be accommodated on the ordinary services. There was accordingly no additional cost to the taxpayer in respect of transport of this paper by air. Of the large amount of paper sent to Paris, only a small proportion, no longer required, was later returned to London; the means of transport was again the aircraft chartered for official passengers and so no extra cost to the taxpayer resulted. The question of disciplinary action does not, therefore, arise.