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Jamaica (Newsprint Allocation)

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is yet in a position to make a statement regarding permission granted to the Jamaican "Gleaner" newspaper to increase its advertising content up to 60 per cent. of the total newsprint used; and why the Jamaican "Daily Express" has been cut in its newsprint allocation to eight pages of tabloid size whilst the "Gleaner" is permitted 14 pages standard size.

The Jamaica "Gleaner" newspaper has agreed to restrict its advertising space to an average of 60 per cent. as against a previous 70 per cent. of the newsprint used. In consequence the Government of Jamaica decided to withdraw a newsprint control Order of 1948 formally restricting advertising content. As regards the second part of the Question, my information is that the Jamaica "Daily Express" still publishes a 12-page issue.

Will the hon. Gentleman say why there should be this disparity between the newsprint allowed to one newspaper, which is of standard size, and the newsprint allowed to the other newspaper, which is of tabloid size; and will he also say what justification there is for allowing Jamaican newspapers to use as much as 60 per cent. of their newsprint for advertisements when nothing like that percentage is allowed here.

As I have said, the former Order was withdrawn, and the Government are now operating on an agreement between themselves and the newspapers. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the conditions in this country are not in all respects similar to those in Jamaica.

The disparity, as I have said, is not really a matter under the control of the Government; it is a matter controlled by the trade.