HC Deb 01 July 1954 vol 529 cc1651-2

10.28 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Henry Strauss)

I beg to move, That the Draft Wool Textile Industry (Export Promotion Levy) (Amendment No. 2) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 15th June, be approved. I think it will be for the convenience of the House if we discuss together these two Orders which amend those at present in force under Section 9 of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act, 1947. The levies under these two Orders, one for export promotion and the other for scientific research, are raised in part from the processers and in part from the suppliers. In each case they are based on the wool supplied or consumed or the persons employed during a defined six months period.

The object of the two present Orders is twofold. First, it is to vary the proportion of the levy raised respectively from the processers and from the suppliers. Secondly, it is to alter the period to make it correspond with the accounting year of the National Wool Textile Export Corporation in one case and the Wool Textile Research Council in the other.

The object of altering the proportion is this. When the Orders were made originally at the request of the industry it was agreed by the various sections that not more than 20 per cent. of the total proceeds should be derived from the levy on wool supplied. Experience has shown that the Orders, as they stand, have resulted in a larger proportion being raised from the suppliers. The effect of the amendments to these two Orders is to bring about the result originally intended and accepted as fair. Both these Orders have been introduced at the request of the Wool Textile Delegation and both are supported by the National Association of Unions in the Textile Trade.

10.31 p.m.

Mr. John Edwards (Brighouse and Spenborough)

These two Orders flow from the original Industrial Organisation Development Act, which was promoted by the Labour Government in 1947 and, therefore, clearly we can have no objection in principle to Orders of this kind.

When the original Orders were made under the Act we could obviously do no more than seemed to be right in accordance with the estimates we then made. It is clear in the light of experience that the incidence of the levy on the two main groups which are concerned is not fair nor in accordance with the original intentions when the original Order was made. Anything which alters the incidence of a levy is bound to disturb some people, but, by and large, I am quite satisfied that these Order will correct what had become an unfairness and ought to be made.

Draft Wool Textile Industry (Scientific Research Levy) (Amendment No. 2) Order, 1954 [copy presented 15th June], approved.—[Mr. Henry Strauss.]