HC Deb 09 September 1942 vol 383 cc159-60
78. Mr. Kirby

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent textile machinery has been, and is being, sent from this country to Brazil and Egypt; what effect the use of this machinery for the manufacture of cotton goods will have upon our export cotton markets in those parts of the world; and whether endeavour will be made to economise the use of steel and skilled engineering labour by exporting cotton goods to those countries rather than machinery?

Mr. Harcourt Johnstone (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

A small amount of textile machinery, mostly spare parts, has been sent to Brazil within: the terms of the White Paper on the use of Lend-Lease material (Cmd. 6311). There will be no appreciable effect on our exports of cotton manufactures to that country. As regards Egypt, a limited amount of spare parts and machinery is being sent, on the recommendation of the Middle East Supply Council, as part of the essential economy of that area in wartime. The labour position in the cotton industry precludes any commercial expansion of our exports of cotton manufactures from this country at the present, time

Mr. Kirby

Will the Minister responsible give his attention to this matter, so that at the end of the war we shall not have Lancashire entirely without work?

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