§ 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?
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. 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.
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.