HC Deb 07 December 1944 vol 406 cc740-1W
Mr. T. Brown

asked the Minister of Education if he will take the required steps, by consultation with the President of the Board of Trade, to increase the supply of paper for the purpose of increasing the supply of school books as the position has become serious, especially for the evening institutes and many of the elementary schools throughout the country.

Mr. D. Scott

asked the Minister of Education if he is aware of the acute shortage of text-books for secondary schoolchildren; and what steps his Department are taking to remedy the present position, which is retarding the work of many teachers.

Major Morrison

asked the Minister of Education if, in view of the impossibility of satisfying the demand from both the Forces and civilians for educational books, he will obtain more paper from the supplies Department, so that more paper can be more quickly released for books as distinct from periodicals.

Mr. Butler

There is unfortunately a general shortage of text-books due to restrictions on labour and materials imposed by war conditions, and it has been represented to me that the shortage is acute in some directions. I am constantly in touch with my colleagues on this very important matter, and, as my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade explained on 5th December in reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh North (Mr. Erskine-Hill), the paper quotas for the publishers and the Moberly reserve have just been increased by 633 tons, and a special allocation of 800 tons granted for the Services post-war educational scheme. It is too soon to judge the effect of these increases, but the situation is under review.