HC Deb 07 February 1973 vol 850 cc453-4
30. Mr. Dormand

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he is satis- fied with the work undertaken by his Department in the disposal of Government waste paper.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Civil Service Department (Mr. Kenneth Baker)

The disposal of waste paper is the responsibility of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. The arrangements made for this purpose are satisfactory.

Mr. Dormand

Is it not astonishing, and even scandalous, that a contractor is allowed two days between collecting waste paper from a depot and having to declare the weight to Her Majesty's Stationery Office? Is not the system wide open to abuse, and is the hon. Gentleman aware that several firms, including one in my constituency, are placed at a distinct disadvantage by this most unsatisfactory system?

Mr. Baker

The hon. Gentleman has been in correspondence with me on this case. I have asked the security officers of the Stationery Office to look into it, and they have reported back that they are satisfied that there could be no discrepancy as a result of the lorry leaving the warehouse and later arriving at the weighbridge. However, I shall be pleased to meet the hon. Gentleman and representatives of his firm to discuss the matter further if he wishes.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

Does my hon. Friend realise that the best way to do away with waste paper problems is to cut down the amount of paper that is sent about by Government Departments and reduce the amount of form filling and the like?

Mr. Baker

In the last two years we have substantially reduced the number of forms and simplified many of those which remain. I remind the House that the business to which the Question refers is quite big business. The Government benefit to the extent of nearly £180,000 a year from disposing of waste paper.