HC Deb 03 April 1947 vol 435 cc2198-9
18. Mr. Benn Levy

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will revise the recent decisions as to the allocation of newsprint so that the increases granted to the daily newspapers shall apply pari passu to the weekly newspapers.

10. Mr. Vane

asked the President of the Board of Trade on what grounds discrimination is being exercised against local weekly newspapers, whose recent pre-fuel crisis allocation of paper is only being restored in part, whilst that of daily newspapers is being restored in full.

Sir S. Cripps

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Lieut.-Colonel Dower) on 1st April.

Mr. Levy

But does my right hon. Friend recall that the main argument which he advanced in favour of this differentiation was that the recent allocation was unfair only if related to wartime consumption, but not if related to prewar consumption? As the wartime cut was on the basis of what the weeklies could afford, surely it is the prewar—

Mr. Speaker

Argument is not a question.

Mr. Spence

Is the Minister aware that the allocations made to these papers may have no relation to the coal supplies delivered and allocated to the mills?

Sir S. Cripps

I have gone into the question of the paper and coal supplies with the English paper mills, and I hope that something is being done to assist them.

Mr. Levy

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that, in view of what I just attempted to point out to him, the fair thing would be to use not the prewar basis of consumption as the ratio for subsequent concessions, but the wartime allocation?

Sir S. Cripps

No, Sir. We believe that the system which has been worked out by the Newspaper Proprietors' Association is the best.

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