§ Sir E. Graham-Little
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the shortage of medical text books is a handicap to medical education; that many of the standard books in use by medical students are unprocurable, and, as examples submitted show, students and practitioners ordering these have been waiting nine months for delivery; and if he will take steps to remedy this position.
§ Sir S. Cripps
The main factors limiting the production of medical and other text books, for which there are increasing and accumulated demands, is the shortage of labour and of paper. The numbers employed in the printing and book-binding trades are still well below the pre-war strength, although the labour force increased, in July, 1946, to 74 per cent. of its pre-war figure. Publishers' regular paper quotas have been substantially increased over the last 18 months— from 42½ per cent. to 80 per cent. of pre-war usage. In addition, it is open to any publisher who cannot bring out an important text book merely from lack of paper to apply for a special allocation for that purpose.