HC Deb 19 October 1950 vol 478 cc2199-200
3. Mr. Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade the percentage of capacity in the Lancashire cotton textile mills which has been redeployed.

Mr. H. Wilson

As the hon. Member doubtless appreciates, the term "redeployment" is not capable of precise definition. But I understand that about 90 spinning mills have applied modern techniques of work-load assessment: in the weaving section something like half the industry is working more than the traditional four looms per weaver, and 57 firms with 15,000 non-automatic power looms have so far adopted the wage system based on the recommendations of the Cotton Manufacturing Commission. In addition, there are about 37,000 automatic looms already installed.

7. Mr. Erroll

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give a list of schemes sanctioned under the cotton-spinning re-equipment subsidy scheme; the amount of money expended and authorised; and the progress made so far.

Mr. H. Wilson

Plans for re-equipping or modernising cotton spinning mills submitted by 27 groups have been approved under the Cotton Spinning Re-equipment Subsidy Act. These cover modernisation of 145 mills containing 12 million mule equivalent spindles, and the cost of carrying out this work is estimated at £13 million. The total of grants paid to date is £516,000, but further claims are being submitted as work is completed. No further schemes can now be submitted, and work on those which have been approved must be completed by 30th April, 1952.

Mr. Erroll

Have any schemes been submitted too late? If so, can consideration be given to starting them, if necessary, by amending legislation?

Mr. Wilson

I shall be very glad to look into that.