§ 32. Mr. Lubbock
asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to increase the quantity of waste paper collected, in view of the contribution which can be made thereby towards the reduction of pulp imports.
§ Mr. Dell
The contribution which the re-use of waste paper can make is well recognised. The practical problem is to gear recovery to the demands of the mills, which are not constant. What is most needed is long-term contracts for the purchase of waste paper from local authorities, and co-operation between mills, local authorities and merchants in watching trends and forecasting demand.
§ Mr. Lubbock
Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the great anxiety about the present situation in the waste paper industry and the possibility that one mill will have to import £50,000 of mixed waste because supplies are not available in this country? Will he at least reconsider the industry's demand that S.E.T. on it should be abolished?
§ Mr. Dell
S.E.T. is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment. However, if the hon. Gentleman is referring to investment grants, which come within the remit of my Department, I must emphasise that the Industrial Development Act limits investment grants to manufacturing activities. The figures of the use of waste paper this year show a marked rise over the figures of last year. However, the important thing in order to avoid problems of the sort mentioned by the hon. Gentleman is the recommendations of the Paper and Board E.D.C., to which I have referred in the last sentence of my Answer related to the organisation of demand so that people have a guaranteed outlet for their collection.
§ Mrs. Anne Kerr
On a point of order. In this quarter of the Chamber, Mr. Speaker, it is impossible to hear what is being said. Will those behind the scenes turn up the apparatus?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am seized of the point of order. I shall have it looked into. I hope, however, that points of order will not be raised until the end of Question Time unless they are very important.