HC Deb 13 October 1942 vol 383 cc1488-9
42. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the resolution passed at a public meeting recently held in Manchester of representatives of the Lancashire cotton industry, and sent to him, demanding the resignation of both the chairman of the Cotton Board and the Cotton Controller on the grounds of dictatorial inefficiency and calling for the abolition of British Overseas Cotton in favour of another form of organisation; and what answer he has returned?

Mr. Dalton

I have seen in the Press a report of the resolution to which my hon. Friend refers. I have also seen in the Press a report that a Committee comprising the elected heads of the producing and mercantile associations of the cotton industry has unanimously disassociated itself from the resolution. Leading organisations in the spinning, manufacturing, dyeing and merchanting sections of the industry have written to me deprecating the attacks on the Chairman of the Cotton Board and the Cotton Controller, and paying tribute to their services. Both Sir Raymond Streat and Mr. Frank Platt are doing admirable work in very difficult circumstances, and they have the full confidence of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply and myself.

Mr. Davies

In view of these very serious conflicting interests, does the right hon. Gentleman intend to act as adjudicator between them?

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir. I propose to ignore Mr. Stowell, whom I regard as a person of no significance at all.