HC Deb 01 May 1940 vol 360 cc716-7
59. Mr. Culverwell

asked the Minister of Supply how many local authorities have no organisation for the collection of waste paper?

The Minister of Supply (Mr. Burgin)

I cannot answer my hon. Friend's Question categorically, partly because my Department's system of returns does not extend to very small authorities, and partly because the latest periodical return from an area does not always reflect the position to-day. What I can say, however, on the basis of the latest returns received, is that 704 local authorities, with an aggregate population of 35,000,000 people, are definitely known to be organising the collection of waste paper. In reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Bilston (Mr. Hannah) on 17th April, it was mentioned that an urgent circular was issued by my Department on 11th April to every local authority in England, Scotland and Wales, stressing the need for the collection of waste paper. Replies to this circular are now being received daily, and I have every reason to believe that the figures mentioned above will be considerably increased.

Mr. Culverwell

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied with what is being done in this matter and, if not, will he use compulsion to force all local authorities, into the scheme?

Mr. Burgin

That matter would be within the Department of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. We are in collaboration with each other in case the voluntary returns should not prove adequate.

Mr. Holdsworth

Is anything being done to salvage the waste paper of the Services?

Mr. Burgin

Yes, Sir. The salvage arrangement includes the Services as well as the civilian population.