HC Deb 25 March 1942 vol 378 c1996
65. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Minister of Supply, whether he is aware of the large amount of space in trade journals devoted to advertisement of unobtainable articles and, in particular, that the current issue of "The Engineer" contains 62 pages of advertisements of engineering equipment compared with 21 pages of reading matter; and if, in view of the need for saving all available paper, he will take steps substantially to reduce the quantity of paper to journals of this type?

Sir A. Duncan

The quantity of paper used by periodicals is strictly limited at a rate generally about one-fifth of pre-war consumption, and the hon. Member will appreciate that in many classes of technical papers advertisements are of importance in themselves.

Mr. Edwards

Is the Minister aware that the advertisements in this paper amount to 62 pages of the paper and that only 21 pages are devoted to script or printed matter; that the articles advertised are unobtainable except through the permission of the right hon. Gentleman's own Ministry; and does not he think that the Exchequer is losing a past sum of money by subsidising this sort of advertising because of the loss of Excess Profits Tax?

Sir A. Duncan

I do not see that a subsidy comes from the Exchequer at all. The bulk of these advertisements are the normal advertisements of the paper. The whole question of advertisements is being looked into, but technical papers are of a character which normally carry much more advertising space than ordinary papers.

Sir H. Williams

Is the Minister aware that engineers are in the habit of regarding the advertisements sometimes as the most valuable technical material in the paper?

Sir A. Duncan

I am perfectly aware of that.

Mr. Higgs

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the advertisements are of more value to the engineer in this particular paper than the editorial matter?

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