HC Deb 31 January 1951 vol 483 cc893-4
47. Mr. Storey

asked the Lord President of the Council what steps he has taken to institute research into new raw materials for newsprint.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I have been asked to reply. In 1948, the Panel on Imports Substitution made a comprehensive survey of raw materials for papermaking and recommended the increased use or straw. Newsprint suppliers were asked to consider the possibility of using this for newsprint. The Research Association of the British Paper and Board Industry, which receives Government support through the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, is continuing to study a number of possible raw materials both indigenous and from the colonies for paper manufacture. Several suitable materials are known, and the problem of providing additional supplies for newsprint manufacture is an economic matter of supply, rather than a technical one.

Mr. Storey

Will the right hon. Gentleman give special attention to the recent work of the Caribbean Commission in the use of bagasse as a raw material for newsprint and boards, and consider asking the Colonial Development Corporation to put down experimental plant in the West Indies for this purpose?

Mr. Wilson

Bagasse is one of the raw materials to which I have referred, but it is considered by those who have been working on it, and by the industry, that it would be a very expensive form of raw material to manufacture.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Instead of spending money on an expensive form of manufacture, would it not have been better to have kept our word with Canada?

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