HC Deb 21 March 1940 vol 358 cc2112-3
41. Miss Rathbone

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied that all, or the large majority of local authorities, have adopted, or are preparing as quickly as possible to adopt, schemes for the systematic sorting, collection and utilisation of the various forms of household waste; and, if not, whether he is prepared to exercise compulsion in the matter; and whether he will issue a statement showing the progress made and the steps taken in this matter?

Mr. Elliot

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on 13th March to Questions on this subject by the hon. Member for Consett (Mr. David Adams) and the hon. Member for South-East Southwark (Mr. Naylor). I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply is furnishing a state- ment of progress made, which will be circulated in the Official Report.

Sir Stanley Reed

Is the light hon. Gentleman aware that while tens of thousands of tons of waste paper are being wasted here, whole cargoes are being imported from Sweden?

Mr. Elliot

That shows the great desirability of anti-waste measures being pressed to their fullest extent, and, as I have said, I understand the Ministry of Supply is circulating a statement to-day.

Miss Rathbone

Although the Minister of Supply is giving us a statement, does it not rest with the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health to exercise compulsion if necessary; and, considering the long time which this has been going on, are we not entitled to know that it is not left to the voluntary effort of obstinate and sluggish local authorities?

Mr. Elliot

I am glad to hear the hon. Lady's whole-hearted enthusiasm for compulsion.