HC Deb 29 January 1948 vol 446 cc1189-90
64. Mr. Walter Fletcher

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent demands for special qualities of raw cotton have been met in the last six months.

Mr. H. Wilson

To the fullest extent possible, having regard to currency restrictions.

65. Mr. W. Fletcher

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many amalgamations in the cotton industry have taken place in 1947 under plans offering inducements for such amalgamations offered by His Majesty's Government.

Mr. H. Wilson

During 1947, 11 groups of spinning mills were accepted for registration under the Modernisation Subsidy Scheme. The majority of these groups were in existence prior to 1947 but some of them added extra mills during the year.

Mr. Fletcher

Does the President of the Board of Trade agree that this very small number shows the necessity of going into the whole question again and altering the basis considerably?

Mr. Wilson

I certainly cannot say that I am satisfied with the rate of progress so far achieved.

67. Mr. W. Fletcher

asked the President of the Board of Trade in what way the £1,500,000 subsidy to cotton spinning industry is administered; whether it is distributed over the industry as a whole or only to selected sections of the industry.

Mr. H. Wilson

The figure of £1½ million to which the hon. Member refers is the provision made in the Board of Trade Votes for 1947–8 for claims which might arise this year as a result of the Government's offer of financial assistance for the modernisation of grouped cotton spinning mills. The subsidy scheme and the methods of administering it were described in the reply to a Question by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for South Kensington (Mr. Law) on 30th April, 1947.