HC Deb 20 March 1917 vol 92 cc3-4
2. Major NEWMAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the inconvenience and loss to the commercial community that will be caused by the Order prohibiting the printing of catalogues, circulars, and posters after the 24th inst.; and whether, in view of the fact that the Order is made solely to effect an economy in the use of paper, he will weigh the advantages of paper so used with the paper now consumed in the printing of publications of a comic and serio-comic nature?


I have no doubt that the paper restriction Order will cause a certain amount of inconvenience, but it has been issued in view of the urgent necessity for economising paper. As regards the second part of the question, I have already explained the difficulties of discriminating between different classes of publications in allotting paper for their use.

3. Major NEWMAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the discontent caused by the regulations imposed on printers as to how they shall use the stocks of paper allotted to them; and will he direct he Paper Restriction Committee to allot on a fair basis a supply of paper to each business house and allow it to make use of such paper without restriction?


If the hon. and gallant Member will let me know to what particular Regulation he is referring, I shall be happy to consult with the Royal Paper Commission on the subject.


asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that a monopoly of paper for newspapers would lead to a monopoly in the means of expressing public opinion, the Government have yet taken any steps to carry out the suggestion that stocks of paper for newspapers should be pooled under the control of the Paper Commission and distributed on an equitable basis between the newspapers of the United Kingdom in existence before the import of paper and pulp was first restricted?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

Particulars of stocks held by newspaper proprietors have been collected by the Paper Commission, who have reported the result of their inquiries to the Board of Trade. The Report has only just been received, and it has not yet been possible to examine it carefully. There shall be no avoidable delay in announcing the Government's intentions in regard to the suggestion referred to by my right hon. Friend Mr. CHANCELLOR: Will fresh newspapers and new publications be allowed to come out?


Yea, if they support the Government.


Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question to the Board of Trade.


Will a circular be issued to Cabinet Ministers suggesting that no further capital should be placed in new newspapers?