Paper Supplies (Elections)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th April 1951.

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Photo of Mr Eric Bullus Mr Eric Bullus , Wembley North 12:00 am, 19th April 1951

asked the President of the Board of Trade what were the arrangements made with the paper trade for preferential treatment to be given to the requirements of all political parties for both national and local elections; and when were these arrangements made.

Mr. H. Wilson:

The voluntary priority scheme for paper and board was discussed with the various trade associations concerned at a series of meetings commencing last November and ranging over a period of some weeks. Attention was directed in suitable cases to the importance of seeing that supplies of paper were made available to all political parties for elections. On 12th March the associations in question were specifically reminded of the importance of this matter.

Photo of Mr Eric Bullus Mr Eric Bullus , Wembley North

Is the Minister entirely satisfied with these rather loose arrangements? Would it not be better to earmark supplies of paper for the forthcoming General Election, which must surely be imminent?

Mr. Wilson:

What the hon. and gallant Gentleman is suggesting is that I should reimpose full control on paper supplies. As he has said, the present arrangement is a rather looser one, but all the cases which have been referred to my Department or to the special trade committee concerned with this matter have been dealt with successfully.

Photo of Mrs Lucy Middleton Mrs Lucy Middleton , Plymouth, Sutton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the south-west of England there is very great concern about the supply of newsprint for the forthcoming municipal elections? Will he look into the matter of supplies for that purpose?

Mr. Wilson:

If my hon. Friend will give me particulars, I will certainly look into the matter, but all cases reported to me have been dealt with successfully.

Photo of Mr Alfred Hargreaves Mr Alfred Hargreaves , Carlisle

Has my right hon. Friend taken notice of the position in Carlisle, which has been brought to his attention, where the whole of the city council will seek re-election at the municipal elections and there is an acute shortage of paper for those elections?

Mr. Wilson:

I will certainly look into that matter.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

Is my right hon. Friend aware that two or three printers in Bristol have exhausted their supply of paper in meeting the needs of the political parties for the municipal elections? Will he see that the printers have sufficient paper for their normal requirements?

Mr. Wilson:

If that is the case, there are arrangements in the trade to see that that is done.