HC Deb 03 April 1919 vol 114 cc1361-2
32. Captain BROWN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has, since receiving the deputation of paper manufacturers, now arrived at a decision with regard to the removal of all restrictions on 30th April; and, if so, whether he can make any statement thereon?

35. Mr. TALBOT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that writing paper and wrapping paper are fully-manufactured articles and that British paper mills in pre-war years produced approximately two-thirds of the paper used in this country and maintained a large export trade, he will consider the question of immediately curtailing the import of manufactured paper in order to enable home manufacturers to restart the paper machines now lying idle, to give employment to their workpeople now returning from the Colours, and to prevent those at present engaged in the industry from being thrown out of work?


My right hon. Friend is considering the points raised by the deputation of paper manufacturers and hopes to make a statement at an early date. In view of the numerous representations which have been made to him in this connection, he is arranging for the appointment of a Committee to investigate fully the present position of the paper-making industry, and to report to him at an early date. This Committee will consist of leading representatives of consumers and of manufacturers, together with the labour unions concerned, three Government representatives, and representatives of the Interim Industrial Reconstruction Committee.


Can the hon. Gentleman give the names of the Committee?


No; I cannot give them yet

Captain BROWN

Will the Committee arrive at a decision before 30th April?


I hope so.

39. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir JOHN HOPE

asked what representative of the paper industry the Paper Controller consulted as to the possibility of the paper industry-being able to reduce the price of home-produced paper, provided they were given a sufficient supply of raw material to increase their output?


The Paper Controller consulted the manufacturers of newsprint, who quoted a price of 3½d. per lb. as against imported prices of 2¾d. to 3d. per lb. The manufacturers of printing paper quoted a price of 5¼d. to 5¾d. per lb. as against an imported price of 4½d. per lb. The manufacturers of boards quoted £24 per ton as against imported boards at £16 per ton. Esparto papers are not imported into this country, hence no comparison can be found for them. There is no question that the paper industry is able and willing, in many instances, to reduce prices under the conditions indicated by the hon. Member.