HC Deb 10 February 1944 vol 396 c1877
9. Sir Geoffrey Shakespeare

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he will consult the Minister of Supply with a view to securing a further release of paper for the printing of educational books used in schools.

The President of the Board of Education (Mr. Butler)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Tonbridge (Sir A. Baillie) on 4th November last, a copy of which I am sending him, to which at present I am not in a position to add anything. My hon. Friend may rest assured that the matter is being kept carefully under review.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the effect of fixing the paper ration by weight operates against school books, first, because it is impossible to use smaller type and margins in school books which are severely economical in peace-time; secondly, because the books are, largely, reprints and the type is fixed in plates, and, thirdly, because it pays a publisher to produce new 8s. 6d. popular books; and will he therefore reconsider the matter?

Mr. Butler

We do our best for school books. There is a great shortage of paper, but I will bear in mind the obviously informed opinion that the hon. Gentleman has given to the House and will do my best.

Mr. N. Maclean

Why is it, if there is such a shortage of paper, that very shoddy novels are allowed to be issued?

Mr. Butler

I think I had better confine myself to my responsibility for school books.

Mr. Mathers

Has the right hon. Gentleman any control over what is printed on this paper?