HC Deb 12 March 1963 vol 673 cc1148-50
18. Mr. Willis

asked the Postmaster-General where the Edinburgh telephone directory is printed.

19. Mr. Ross

asked the Postmaster-General what arrangements he makes for accepting tenders for the printing of the south-west Scotland telephone directory.

20. Mr. Milian

asked the Postmaster-General where the Glasgow telephone directory is printed.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. Ray Mawby)

The printing of all telephone directories is handled on our behalf by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. I understand from my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary that most of this work is done at their works at Harrow. The Edinburgh and Glasgow directories are primed there. Some of the smaller directories, including the local Dumfries and Galloway directory covering south-west Scotland, are printed under contract by private firms. The contracts are placed by Her Majesty's Stationery Office by competitive tender and that for the Dumfries and Galloway directory is held by John McQueen Ltd. of Galashiels.

Mr. Willis

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that whilst we are quite happy that it should be done by the Stationery Office, some of this work could be done in Scotland? The Stationery Office has just taken over a printing works in Scotland. Does not the hon. Gentleman consider that this is the type of work which could be given to areas in which there is a high level of unemployment?

Mr. Mawby

I shall have to consult my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but I understand that he has plans for printing some directories in Edinburgh.

Mr. Ross

Can the hon. Gentleman find out whether the Stationery Office gives special consideration to the employment needs of an area? Cannot the Department properly use the recently nationalised printing firm in Edinburgh?

Mr. Mawby

I will certainly take that into account and discuss it with my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary.

Mr. Milian

Can we take it that the Post Office does not mind where the telephone directories are printed provided that it gets a competitive price for them and that, therefore, the Post Office would be quite happy, if the Stationery Office so decided, to have the directories printed in Scotland?

Mr. Mawby

All that we at the Post Office want are efficiently produced directories. That is our main consideration. As I have already said, this is a matter for my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary. Obviously, the directories can be produced more economically in one main plant, but I will draw to my hon. Friend's attention the point that the hon. Member has made.

Captain Orr

Can my hon. Friend say where Northern Ireland telephone directories are printed?

Mr. Mawby

Not without notice.