§ 27. Mr. Janner
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the position of the knitted glove industry in Leicester and elsewhere has further deteriorated very recently and that it is now in danger of closing down: and whether he can now state what steps he is prepared to take in order to prevent this industry in Britain being eliminated.
§ Mr. Low
I am aware that the importation of gloves from Hong Kong has created difficulties for some firms on both the knitted and fabric sides of the glove industry, but I have no evidence that any section of the industry is about to close down.
On the question of Government action in relation to these imports, I have nothing to add to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovill (Mr. Peyton) on 9th December last.
§ Mr. Janner
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in one factory in my constituency there are only 36,517 dozens of knitted gloves on order today as against 155,635 dozens last year? [HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."] I must read the numbers; I wish to be accurate. Does he not consider that that is a very serious position, and is he not prepared to do anything at all about saving this industry?
§ Mr. Low
I was not aware of those figures which the hon. Gentleman has read to the House. I have made some inquiries about unemployment in Leicester in the glove-working industry and I find that in February—and I believe it is true of last month—there was no glove worker registered as unemployed in the Leicester area.