HC Deb 01 March 1938 vol 332 cc900-1
31. Mr. Tomlinson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the representations from the Joint Committee of Cotton Trades Organisations embodying draft proposals for an Enabling Bill; whether it is his intention to promote such a Bill; and, if so, when it can be expected?

Captain Wallace

My right hon. Friend informed the Joint Committee of Cotton Trade Organisations on 20th December that the Government hoped the Committee would continue their consultations with various sections of the industry on certain important questions of policy in order that, provided these questions were settled to the satisfaction of the Government, it might be possible to proceed with the drafting of a Bill. Representatives of the Committee recently discussed their proposals again with my right hon. Friend, and the Committee are now continuing their discussions with various interests on the questions of policy referred to in December. The question as to whether or when legislation will be introduced must depend largely upon the result of these discussions and I regret that in these circumstances, I cannot at present give any undertaking.

Mr. Tomlinson

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman make known to the President that there is a big volume of opinion in Lancashire which thinks that unless something is done speedily in this direction, there will be no trade left to reorganise?

Captain Wallace

I think the President is perfectly well aware of that, and he is equally well aware of the fact that the next move is with the Committee.

Mr. H. G. Williams

Is this another Bill to prevent people having a free choice as to which industry they shall enter?

Captain Wallace

I am afraid that is a hypothetical question; the Bill has not yet been printed.