HC Deb 27 July 1950 vol 478 cc660-2
8. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of changed economic circumstances, he will now restore the obligation upon local authorities to collect paper and provide an incentive to encourage people to collect the maximum amount of paper.

11. Mr. Hurd

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to induce local authorities to revive the collection of waste paper now urgently needed by the mills.

15. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the difficulty of obtaining newsprint, he will organise the salvage of waste paper throughout the country on business lines.

Mr. H. Wilson

I would refer the hon. Members to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Normanton (Mr. T. J. Brooks) on 25th July about the collection of waste paper. The production of newsprint in this country is not limited by shortage of waste paper or any other raw material, but by the capacity of the mills.

Mr. Hurd

Is not it a fact that local authorities have now ceased collecting waste paper because of the additional cost imposed by the rise in petrol, which they cannot meet?

Mr. Wilson

Very many local authorities stopped collection last year, because the prices they got from the waste paper trade were not sufficient to cover the then cost of collection.

Sir W. Smithers

In view of the fact that my Question asked that the collection of waste paper should be run on business lines, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that local authorities do not collect all the available paper because they make a loss on it? Is he also aware that good paper can be made of wheat straw, and will he make a firm decision before the harvest in order that hundreds of tons of this wheat straw shall not be burned?

Mr. Wilson

I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman was aware that the trouble about the collection of waste paper is that it is being run on business lines at the present time, and that the price received for it is not sufficient to cover the cost of collection.