HC Deb 12 April 1951 vol 486 cc1163-5
5. Mr. Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet decided to approach the Australian Government with regard to the reduction of newsprint exports to that country.

Mr. Bottomley

This matter is now under consideration, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Shepherd

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that it is senseless to export so much paper to Australia, which will not be a long-term market for Great Britain? It causes grievous harm to the newspaper industry of this country.

Mr. Bottomley

We bear every consideration in mind.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Could the hon. Gentleman describe the difference between the average size of newspapers in Australia and in this country?

8. Air Commodore Harvey

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the allocation of newsprint to Malaya for 1951.

Mr. Bottomley

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. N. Macpherson) on 30th November, 1950.

Air Commodore Harvey

What is the point of referring to an announcement which was entirely unsatisfactory? Will the hon. Gentleman reconsider this matter in the light of the importance of Malaya, which is struggling against Communism and bandits? Never in its history has Malaya required an adequate supply of newsprint more than now.

Mr. Bottomley

I am sorry that the reply last time was considered unsatisfactory, and that because the circumstances are the same, it must be considered equally unsatisfactory today. We consult the Colonial Office on these matters and make every possible concession.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Will the hon. Gentleman look at the large amount of printed propaganda from countries behind the Iron Curtain which reaches Members of Parliament every week and is printed in London? Will he divert the pulp required for those publications to Malaya which is on our side, and not against us?

Mr. Bottomley

I am prepared to consider these things, and will certainly look into it.

Mr. Niall Macpherson

Is the hon. Member aware that his right hon. Friend undertook to look into this matter again earlier this year? Would he say whether the matter has been reconsidered and, if so, what was the result?

Mr. Bottomley

The matter is constantly under consideration.

Air Commodore Harvey

In view of the importance of the matter, and the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that, when my Adjournment debate next week is out of the way, I will raise this matter at the earliest possible opportunity.

13. Mr. Hurd

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is satisfied that the home mills producing newsprint have sufficient raw materials to maintain full output during 1951.

Mr. Rhodes

No, Sir. With one exception all the mills concerned have so far succeeded in maintaining full production, but one important producer has been unable to obtain full supplies of raw materials and will have some shortfall in production during the year.

Mr. Hurd

May we have an assurance that the Government will do everything they can to facilitate supplies of raw materials to our newsprint mills?

Mr. Rhodes

Yes, certainly.

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