HC Deb 08 March 1944 vol 397 cc2047-8
47 and 48. Mr. Lindsay

asked the Minister of Supply (1) from what source the many publishing firms, started since 1939, obtain their supplies of paper; and whether he has any accurate knowledge of the amount of paper so used;

(2) whether he approves of the policy by which an established firm of publishers is now permitted to start a subsidiary firm to compete in the free paper market with firms started since 1939, but is warned that it is undesirable to do so.

Sir A. Duncan

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberģ) and the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth (Mr. Jewson) on 20th October last. I would be glad if he would give me particulars of the case he has in mind and I shall have inquiries made.

Mr. Lindsay

I will gladly accede to that request. Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that some of the older firms have lost over 500,000 books in the blitz and that 200 new firms have started? Will he also bear in mind that while private enterprise is preferable, in this case licensed piracy is a new doctrine?

Mr. Driberģ

Has there been any subtantial change in the position since the right hon. Gentleman gave me his former reply—because it was not satisfactory then?

Sir A. Duncan

As I explained on 20th October, we are keeping a close watch on the extent of the use of paper other than by the authorised quota. It has gone down considerably, and, as I explained, it is less than 1 per cent. of the total paper confined to general printing.

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