HC Deb 15 July 1959 vol 609 cc386-7
14. Mr. Farey-Jones

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will consider the rationalisation of paper sizes used for Post Office notepaper, forms, etc., on the basis of the international standard sizes now in common use abroad, and supported by the British Standards Institution.

Mr. Marples

Yes, Sir. I have decided to make a start on this, and supplies of Post Office headed notepaper will shortly be produced in the international "A" sizes only. Thereafter, I hope the field of application of these paper sizes will gradually be widened.

Mr. Farey-Jones

Can my right hon. Friend indicate what advantages are likely to ensue from the adoption of these international sizes? In view of the welcome lead that he is giving in this matter, is he in a position to say whether other Government Departments will follow his excellent example?

Mr. Marples

I cannot reply for other Government Departments, but if they do not change it will not be my fault. All I can say is that the savings are in time and money. For example, there will be a reduction in the number of sizes. This will mean lower stocks of paper, and standardisation over the whole country. It will also mean that when the paper is bisected one side will still have the same relationship to the other. [Interruption.] That is very important, as the right hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Isaacs) knows. If we can possibly get a standard of envelopes and stationery in this country, so that there is always the same relationship between one side and the other, we shall have made a great advance.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Is not this the first step to automatic handling of this stuff inside sorting offices?

Mr. Marples

I quite agree. This is a most important question of saving for the whole country. I hope that I shall be able to persuade the other Government Departments and also the House of Commons to adopt the same sizes.