HC Deb 28 March 1946 vol 421 cc564-5
45. Mr. De la Bére

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that many newspapers can only publish four pages because of the shortage of newsprint, resulting in the creation of difficulties in finding work for many returning from the Forces, he will negotiate with the Canadian Government for the purpose of supplying the necessary dollar exchange and transport for additional quantities of pulp for newsprint.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The financial assistance which we have received from the Canadian Government does not free us from the need to husband our dollar resources carefully. The question whether we can afford additional imports of newsprint will be kept under review. I understand that more pulp is not likely to be available.

Mr. De la Bére

Does the Prime Minister appreciate the fact that the nation wants the full, plain, unrestricted truth, and is he not aware that the Canadian Government have offered pulp, transport and the dollar finance? Why not deal with these very generous people and let us have the truth?

The Prime Minister

I do not need to be told of the generosity of the Canadian Government. My information is that pulp is not available.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Is the Prime Minister aware that exporters are being handicapped in their trade by the inability to get sufficient paper pulp for export journals and catalogues, and could not something be done to arrange for increased supplies to help our export trade?

The Prime Minister

We are doing all we can with regard to newsprint, but I am assured that we have all the pulp available.

Mr. W. J. Brown

May I ask whether, in the clearing up of the difficulties referred to in the Question, we could not, at least, stop the export of paper from this country, because that is still going on in spite of the great shortage of paper?

The Prime Minister

That is another question.