§ 22. Lieutenant-Colonel SIT Thomas Moore
asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take in regard to the memorandum he has recently received from the Publishers' Association regarding the provision of books for Europe and the Dominions; and whether he has any plans in mind to ease the present shortage of labour, paper and cloth.
28. Mr. Graham White
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to the shortage of all books of a non-tendentious character, and if, in view of the need for peoples in liberated territory to learn what Anglo-Saxons have written on the war and reconstruction, he will give directions for such an increase in the supply of paper and labour to the printing industry as is immediately possible.
§ Mr. Dalton
I am glad to say that my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Production has agreed, at my request, to increase the allocation of paper to publishers of books as from the end of next month to 42½ per cent. of their prewar usage. I hope that the publishers will do all they can to devote this extra paper to supplying liberated territories, as well as Empire and other oversea markets. My right hon. and gallant Friend has also increased by more than 14 one-third the allocation to my special Reserve, and has made a further additional allocation for certain classes of educational books. I am in touch with my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Labour, about the supply of labour for printing and binding.
§ Sir T. Moore
My right hon. Friend will appreciate that labour is really at the bottom of this whole question, and as, presumably, the Nazis have destroyed all books of cultural value in occupied Europe, and we shall destroy all the Nazi books, there will be nothing left for Europe to read until this supply is given?
Am I right in assuming that the right hon. Gentleman's statement means that instead of an allocation of 22,000 tons of paper for books out of a total allocation of 447,000 tons the amount will now be increased to something like 40,000 tons?
§ Mr. Dalton
I can give my hon. Friend the figures. They are a little more complicated but are substantially as he suggests.