§ 48 and 49. Sir Granville Gibson
asked the Minister of Supply (1) whether he is aware that the Paper Controller is purchasing stocks of pulp now on the water at £15 per ton and selling it to paper mills at £10 16s. per ton; and how he justifies this loss;
(2) whether he is aware that an order has been issued by the Paper Controller taking over existing stocks of raw material from paper mills at pre-war prices and forcing the same mills to re-purchase the same material at considerably higher prices; and whether he will explain the reasons for this arrangement?
§ The Minister of Supply (Mr. Burgin)
Owing to the rise in the cost of imported woodpulp, it has been necessary to increase substantially the maximum prices for paper. Had the new prices been based on the cost of current pulp imports, they would have been higher still. They have been kept down by taking over existing stocks of pulp and pooling them with further imports up till the end of the year. The combined supplies are available at a price based on the average cost, which is intermediate between the cost of pre-war stocks and the cost of present imports. It is not anticipated that there will be either a loss or a profit to the Control on the operation as a whole.