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Pulp And Newsprint (Imports)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now give some explanation of the continuous purchases of pulp from Russia and newsprint from Sweden at higher rates than they can be obtained from Canada.

There is practically no difference between the c.i.f. cost of comparable grades of pulp from Canada and Russia. The cost of newsprint from Sweden is higher than that from Canada, but imports from Canada are limited by availability of dollars.

But can the Minister tell us how much longer this curtailment of newsprint for the Press is to go on? Why not buy in the cheapest possible place and let us have more newsprint? Most of my good sayings are not published in the papers and it is all due to lack of newsprint.

Will the Minister refer the hon. Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) to the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Eccles) who, in Question No. 62, is urging reduction in expenditure in Canada on newsprint?

Will the Minister consult again with the Newsprint Supply Co. to see whether they are prepared and willing to take over this responsibility from the Government?


asked the President of the Board of Trade why he is permitting the import of an extra 20,000 tons of newsprint from Canada at a cost of some 2,000,000 dollars, when the manufacturing capacity and raw materials available in the sterling area could easily take care of this quantity and more.

The total imports of newsprint from Canada and Newfoundland which have been approved for 1949 are the same as those which were allowed in 1948. It is obviously desirable that we should maintain these traditional imports at such a level as our currency position will permit although they are of course substantially below the amount imported before the war.

Notwithstanding my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère), does not the Parliamentary Secretary think that these two million dollars would be better spent on feeding-stuffs or meat?

May I ask the Minister to realise that I want both feeding-stuffs and newsprint from Canada. I want everything we can get.