HC Deb 29 January 1948 vol 446 cc1181-2
28. Sir Peter Macdonald

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a decision has now been reached on the number of licences to be granted for the new chain of newspapers to be published by the Labour Party; and what considerations led to a decision to grant the licence in this connection to the "South-West Herald."

Mr. H. Wilson

No licences have been granted authorising the publication of the "South-West Herald," or of any newspaper by the Labour Party. Any person may, however, publish without licence a new newspaper or periodical, provided it uses not more than 8 cwts. in a four months' period.

Sir P. Macdonald

In view of the fact that most of the national papers of this country have been starved of newsprint for a long time, what justification is there for allowing new newspapers to be started at the present time?

Mr. Wilson

I was not aware that hon. Members opposite wanted me to operate a newspaper censorship. It has been the practice throughout the war, and for some time since, to allow small projects taking a small quantity of paper to go on.

Sir. P. Macdonald

Would the right hon. Gentleman apply that to other trades in the country which are not allowed to start up unless they operated before the war?

Mr. Wilson

That is another question.

Mr. Marlowe

Would not the right hon. Gentleman be well advised to ensure an adequate newsprint supply for Socialist literature in Camlachie?