HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2266-7
7. Mr. Nabarro

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the aggregate tonnage of waste paper consigned to the mills in each of the months of November, 1950, December, 1950, and January, 1951, was at a rate commensurate with the national requirement of 1,000,000 tons for the year 1951; and the tonnages of waste paper consigned to the mills in each of the three months ended 31st January. 1951.

Mr. H. Wilson

Mills' receipts for waste paper amounted approximately to 70,000 tons in the four weeks 4th November to 2nd December, 1950; 77,000 tons in the five weeks 2nd December, 1950, to 6th January, 1951; and 73,000 tons in the four weeks 6th January to 2nd February, 1951. These figures represent an annual rate of 907,000 tons, 802,000 tons and 946,000 tons respectively, as compared with an estimated requirement of some 1,000.000 tons a year.

Mr. Nabarro

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that 20 per cent. of the board-making capacity of the United Kingdom is at present standing idle due to waste paper shortage, which is causing a chronic shortage of packaging materials for the defence programme and essential export trade? Can he tell the House what further steps he is taking to stimulate waste paper recovery through local authorities and others?

Mr. Wilson

I am aware of the shortage of waste paper. The total collected last year was, in fact, the highest ever collected and I am glad to be able to tell the hon. Gentleman that there are now some 1,130 local authorities who have come into the scheme—an increase of 400 over the past few months—and that 879 have entered for the salvage contest.