HC Deb 10 May 1938 vol 335 cc1396-7
16. Mr. Tomlinson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to state whether, and, if so, when, he will be prepared to introduce an Enabling Bill for the cotton industry?

21. Mr. Burke

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the representations made to him by organisations in the Lancashire cotton trade regarding possible legislation; and whether he is now in a position to make a statement regarding the Government's intentions in this connection?

Mr. Stanley

I can add nothing at present to the reply which I gave on 22nd March to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury (Mr. Chorlton).

Mr. Tomlinson

The answer given then was that this matter was being considered. I would like to ask the Minister whether he is aware that while this consideration is taking place, and being long-drawn-out, the feeling of despair in Lancashire is growing at the continuous decline in the staple industry there; and, if he is aware of that, will he expedite either this enabling Bill or something else to take its place?

Mr. Remer

In his consideration of this matter will my right hon. Friend take cognisance of the large number of people in Lancashire and Cheshire who are violently opposed to anything of the kind?

Mr. Burke

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, owing to the loss of the markets in the Far East, Egypt, India and West Africa, there has been a staggering increase in the number of unemployed in the cotton trade in the last few months, and that it is in a worse position than any other trade in the country; and does he realise that if anything is to be done it is worth doing it quickly.

Mr. Stanley

I realise all those factors, and I am in touch with the joint committee of the Cotton Trade Organisation. As I informed the House on a previous occasion, very important matters require to be considered as to the effect of what is proposed as a remedy for Lancashire cotton upon other textile industries outside the area. That is a question which cannot be hurried over.

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