HC Deb 22 July 1941 vol 373 cc767-8
14. Captain Dugdale

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the admitted shortage of paper in the country, he will take steps to see that an economy in the use of paper is made throughout the Army of similar proportions to that now being made in the use of petrol?

Captain Margesson

Since the beginning of the paper shortage, the question of paper consumption in the Army has been kept continuously under review. The question of reducing the number of returns has been the subject of a very thorough investigation, and not only have considerable reductions been made but instructions have been issued that no new return may be called for by any branch in the War Office without reference to the Standing Committee on Army Administration. The size of Army forms has also been reduced, and in many other directions expedients to save paper have been adopted. To illustrate the success of these efforts I may mention that the quarterly tonnage of paper in the form of manuals, Army forms and books delivered by the Stationery Office on War Office account, has been reduced by about one-third in the last 12 months.

Captain Dugdale

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that returns are called for from every chaplain in the Forces of the number of communicants each month? Does he think that returns such as that are really necessary?

Captain Margesson

That must be a matter of opinion.

Major Vyvyian Adams

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend send the Army Council a three-line whip on this matter?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that 1,141 Army Council instructions were issued during the first six months of this year?