Newspapers and Periodicals (Exports to Canada)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th May 1963.

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Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington 12:00 am, 16th May 1963

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the value of exports of newspapers and periodicals to Canada in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Photo of Mr Alan Green Mr Alan Green , Preston South

In 1962 exports of newspapers and periodicals to Canada as recorded in the Trade and Navigation accounts were valued at £40,830. This figure does not include the exports by post for which details are not available.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that this valuable source of foreign exchange is likely to be completely dried up by the imposition by the Postmaster-General of a 1,200 per cent. increase in postal charges? Can the Minister say whether any representations have been received on this subject, and, if so, what reply has been made to them?

Photo of Mr Alan Green Mr Alan Green , Preston South

The whole matter has been carefully considered, but the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that the Canadian Magazine Post, which was unchanged since 1907, allowed for specially low rates applicable only to Canada for articles of this kind. This is now going to be changed, and the postal rates applicable to Canada will be the same as those applicable to other overseas countries, and so it will not be absolutely unfair in our exchange with Canada. In addition, I am sure the hon. Gentleman appreciates that the special rates were costing £280,000 a year of public money, and I do not suppose that he really approves of that.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Have not the agents who import these newspapers and periodicals consented to pay the full cost, and is it not greatly less than the ls.0½d per lb. which the Postmaster-General is proposing to charge?

Photo of Mr Alan Green Mr Alan Green , Preston South

If I have notice of tint detail I shall look into it and let the hon. Gentleman know, but I cannot give the answer out of my head.