HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc230-1W
84. Mr. Deedes

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations with Canada for future supplies of newsprint.

Mr. H. Wilson

I understand that the Newsprint Supply Company has been able to make arrangements for the delivery of 100,000 tons before the end of 1951, this amount including some 13,000 tons delivered towards the end of last year. No arrangements have yet been made extending beyond 1951. The Newsprint Supply Company hope to have further discussions in Canada shortly.

87. Mr. J. Rodgers

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the French Government have made a request to the United States Government to establish an international authority for the equitable distribution of newsprint; and if he will make a statement as to the steps he proposes to take himself to associate himself with this move.

Mr. H. Wilson

Yes. I have been for some time convinced that this problem should be approached internationally. We were aware of the French Government's intentions before the request was made, and our representatives in Washington were instructed to support it. The proposal is for the setting up of a Commodity Group on Pulp and Paper, which, we hope, would make newsprint one of its first concerns. It is, of course, for the Commodity Group itself, to determine how best the problem could be solved whether by an allocation scheme or otherwise. No final decision has yet been taken and it would be premature to say anything further at this stage.

88. Mr. J. Rodgers

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the recent newsprint cuts in this country, he proposes to reduce the exports of newsprint as soon as possible.

Mr. H. Wilson

No; but exports of mechanical printing paper, the production of which competes with the production of newsprint, will have to be substantially reduced as from the beginning of next month, and I hope to secure additional economies in other directions.