HC Deb 09 February 1987 vol 110 cc17-8
28. Mr. Janner

asked the Lord Privy Seal what steps are being taken to promote the use of recycled paper in the House of Commons.

Mr. Biffen

The Services Committee decided in February 1982 that available papers containing recycled waste were not acceptable for Members' stationery. Since then HMSO has regularly reviewed the available paper containing waste, but has not yet discovered any of a quality superior to that previously rejected by the Committee.

Mr. Janner

How many trees a year does the right hon. Gentleman consider would be saved if we were to use recycled paper for the mountain of paper that we go o through? Should we not he setting an example to the environmentalists?

Mr. Biffen

I cannot answer the first part of the question without a great deal of notice. As to the second part, I guarantee that the complaints of those who believe that we should be corresponding on stationery of the highest quality would far outweigh the voices of those who are promoting environmental considerations.

Mr. Latham

If my right hon. Friend wants to save forests, why does he not start with the Order Paper? Six sides of paper in tomorrow's Order Paper are filled with identical questions to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. Cannot the names be one after the other? In that way, they might all be on one side of paper.

Mr. Biffen

Prime Minister's Question Time is of such great value to the Conservative party, particularly during the pre-election period, that I would wish to do nothing that would minimise its success.

Mr. Stokes

Does my right hon. Friend agree that. far from using recycled paper, a. return to parchment might save us all from having to endure a vast weight of paper?

Mr. Biffen

That is the most socially constructive question that I have heard this afternoon.

Mr. Fairbairn

Whether it be parchment or recycled paper, will my right hon. Friend ensure that none is used in the bedrooms in the Palace?

Mr. Biffen

I take note of that thoughtful and well-directed question.

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