RT Tanner & Co Ltd



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The Prospects for 1908
In January 1908 the editor recorded the following:

Just as we are about to step upon the threshold of a New Year appears to be a fitting opportunity for making a retrospect, and looking forward to the future. The year we have just parted with has been fairly satisfactory from a business standpoint. At all events, we have no complaint to make, for our turnover has been considerably larger than in preceeding years, but everything seems to point to the fact that there will be a hardening in the price of paper during 1908. We do not desire to see any advance, but, we regret to say, the sign of the times points in this direction. At the last meeting of the Amalgamated Press, Ltd., Lord Northcliffe who has gone into the paper question very thoroughly, stated that it was no secret that the whole world that lives by paper and print is clouded by the more or less imminent approach of a rise in the price of paper. Many newspapers in the United States have been obliged to double their price, and others instead of doubling their price, have reduced their size. The rise in price of our raw material is said to be partly due to the formation of a gigantic trust in the United States; but we know it to be chiefly owing to the depletion of the world's supply of the spruce tree. We have seen a rise in the price of almost every commodity of late; but this augmentation of the price of paper of paper means a scarcity of material that takes at least thirty years to grow, and for which no substitute can be found , despite the efforts of scientists and capitalists all over the world. This is a much more serious form of famine than that where an article is concerned which can be grown in a year or two, or for which a substitute is possible. An increase in the price of paper of 1/2d. a pound, says Lord Northcliffe, would cost the company, on their present paper bill, 70,000l. a year: 1/2d. a pound increase would cost 140,000l. a year, and this is without allowing anything for expansion. Should such a rise take place, they would be obliged either to reduce the size of the publications or to double their price. From the above, it will be seen that this question is a serious one, and we can only hope that the evil day for a general rise in the prices of paper may be put off for as long as possible.


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