HC Deb 26 January 1960 vol 616 cc1-2
1. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an estimate of the capital investment in the Scottish paper trade in the last year and for the coming year.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. John Rodgers)

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Hamilton

Has the Minister any direct or indirect evidence from the trade itself whether it regards the new Outer Seven trade agreement pessimistically or not, because my information is that it feels disinclined to invest any further money in the industry?

Mr. Rodgers

It is true that some Scottish paper and board makers have said that the threat of Scandinavian competition in the European Free Trade Association will oblige them to cut back their investment programmes. On the other hand, however, there are reports that makers of esparto and other special papers are still expending large sums on modernisation and rationalisation; and Wiggins Teape and three other United Kingdom paper makers are investigating the possibility of a new woodpulp mill near Fort William.