§ 55. Captain Orr
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now able to announce a raising of the D level of Purchase Tax on all linen products including piece goods
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter)
I regret that I cannot add to the reply given to my hon. and gallant Friend's Question on this matter on 15th December.
§ Captain Orr
That answer will not do. Can my hon. Friend tell me what representations he has had from the Northern Ireland Ministry of Commerce on the matter? Is he aware that unemployment in Northern Ireland is running at 8 per cent. of the insured population, that 30 per cent. of our looms are idle, and that the linen industry believes that it is being treated in a dilatory and negligent fashion?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
If my hon. and gallant Friend wants particulars of the representations which have been made perhaps he would be good enough to put a Question down. On the merits of the matter, my hon. and gallant Friend will recall that a good deal of the case made on behalf of the Ulster linen industry is based on the relative treatment of their products and certain other products. My hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that it is necessary to weigh carefully the claims of one textile as against another.
§ Mr. Albu
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the widespread reports in the Press that the Home Secretary is to make a statement in reply to criticisms of Civil Defence by the Select Committee on Estimates, would you ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he would care to make a statement now? Would he reply to Question No. 102?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order, order. I have received no notice of a statement or of a desire to reply to a Question.