Manufactured Paper (Imports)

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th June 1945.

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Photo of Mr James Wootton-Davies Mr James Wootton-Davies , Heywood and Radcliffe 12:00 am, 13th June 1945

asked the Minister of Supply why manufactured paper is to be imported from Sweden; and if he will consider instead making paper from materials at present in this country or importing the raw material.

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

Our first endeavour is to secure supplies of materials to enable production in this country to be increased to the maximum extent, but it is also necessary to take the opportunity of importing certain quantities of paper to supplement home production.

Photo of Mr James Wootton-Davies Mr James Wootton-Davies , Heywood and Radcliffe

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this is the thin end of the wedge? We want work in this country not imported manufactured materials.

Photo of Mr Arthur Reed Mr Arthur Reed , Exeter

Is the Minister aware that paper mills, through restriction of raw materials, have only been working up to 15 to 50 per cent. of their output during the war, and that there are hundreds of thousands of tons of wood pulp in Sweden ready to be shipped? Why does the Minister want to ship paper instead of the raw material?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

We have made contracts and arrangements for shipping the pulp from Sweden, and as soon as shipping facilities are available the pulp will be shipped.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir William Wayland Lieut-Colonel Sir William Wayland , Canterbury

Is it not a fact that farmers find great difficulty in selling their straw for the purpose of making paper?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

No, Sir, it is not possible to make use of all that is available.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Will the Minister take note, and pass the information to the Prime Minister, that his supporters want State interference and State control?

Photo of Mr Samuel Hammersley Mr Samuel Hammersley , Willesden East

Is it not a fact that there are a large number of industries in this country which require manufactured paper, and which have not been able to work at full capacity for many years; and will the Minister remember that it will help the provision of civilian requirements if we get this manufactured paper in quickly?

Photo of Sir Andrew Duncan Sir Andrew Duncan , City of London

It is because of the need for getting this paper in quickly that we are importing now.