HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2264-5
5. Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the great shortage of paper used by jobbing printers for the use of business and commerce, particularly ranges such as banks, bonds, writings and printings, both white and tinted; and what steps he is taking to remedy the position.

24. Captain Ryder

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the shortage of paper supplies: and what action he is taking to ensure the best distribution.

Mr. H. Wilson

Yes, Sir. I announced in the debate on paper and board on 24th November last that I had asked the manufacturers, distributors and printers to operate a voluntary priorities scheme, which will give preference to essential needs as well as fair treatment to the small user. I am watching the position to see if any further steps will be necessary.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

As my Question related to a small part of the paper shortage, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that any shortage will be shared equally by private and by public businesses?

Mr. Wilson

The particular small part to which the hon. Member referred has been discussed specifically with the suppliers. I cannot give an assurance or guarantee of supplies without the re-imposition of statutory control.

Captain Ryder

Does the President of the Board of Trade recall the letter I sent him, which indicated that the present scheme was not working and that a number of firms are at present going out of business owing to the shortage of supplies? Will he look into this matter?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir. I recall the letter, and I am reviewing the whole situation, in the light of other complaints from other industries, to see whether the present scheme can be relied upon to give the desired results.