HC Deb 26 April 1932 vol 265 cc187-9

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many of the 43 foreign firms who have recently decided to open businesses in this country have actually commenced operations; the towns and villages where their factories or workshops are located; whether the business conducted in each case is new or a transfer from another firm; and will he state the number of persons actually employed in each case?

11. Mr. McGOVERN

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of factories established by foreign firms as a result of, or in anticipation of, the various import duties that are now engaged in production: and how many persons are employed in them?


The Board of Trade have now received information regarding upwards of 50 new undertakings which have been set up in this country during the last few months, and of these it is understood that 45 have commenced operations. The majority of the under takings are in or near London, the remainder being distributed between Lancashire and Yorkshire, the Midlands and other areas. These are, for the most part, new businesses, but in a few in stances they represent definite additions to existing businesses. I am unable to say how many persons are actually employed by the undertakings at the present time.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these under- takings have been taken over by foreign firms, or whether they are new under takings for the purposes of new businesses?

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

Are any of these undertakings likely to be commenced in South Wales?


I am not sure that there are not already two or three in South Wales, but I would not like to trust my memory too closely on that point. With regard to the supplementary question of the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies), as to whether these are more transfers from one name to another, what I was refer ring to are entirely new businesses or new extensions.


Has the right hon. Gentleman any power to see that these new firms stand by the wage regulations in this country? That is a very important matter. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of these firms which are now beginning operations are offering wages upon which it is utterly impossible for people to live?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in South Wales it is trade union regulations and terrorism that has prevented new businesses being started?

17. Captain McEWEN

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the number of applications to date of foreign firms for factory sites in Scot land; and how many have been actually acquired and in which counties?


I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that applications for factory sites by foreign concerns are not dealt with by Government Departments. The attention of the Board of Trade has, however, been drawn to six cases in which there have been proposals in the last few months to establish new undertakings or extend the production of existing concerns in Scotland, by, or with the assistance of, foreign concerns. I am unable to say whether factories have actually been acquired in these cases.

Captain McEWEN

Does there exist any machinery for advertising these sites?


Nearly all the industrial districts now have development associations, which make it their special business to advertise the attractions of their district.


Will the right hon. Gentleman supply the development associations with the names of foreign firms who are seeking sites?


They are very well aware of them, and most of them have been in communication with them.


asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps are taken by his Department to -assist trade and employment in this country by putting manufacturers abroad who have previously exported goods to our market, and who now wish to pro duce here, in touch with manufacturing firms in Great Britain willing to co operate with them?


I have noted with interest that certain development and trade organisations have taken steps to collect particulars of cases in which British manufacturers desire to co operate with foreign concerns to manufacture goods previously imported from abroad. Any cases of foreign concerns desiring to enter into such an arrangement which come to the notice of the Board of Trade are referred to the appropriate organisations in this country.


Is the right hon. Gentle man not aware that there is a very strong feeling in the North and the Midlands that, for some unknown reason, the South is getting very much more than its share of this trade?


I could give the in stance of the Lancashire Industrial Development Council. It has set a very good precedent which is being followed elsewhere.

Forward to