HC Deb 16 June 1955 vol 542 cc736-8
16. Dame Irene Ward

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the representations made to him by the employers' and workers' organisation on the problems created in the furniture-making industry by the restrictions on hire purchase; and what steps he will take to alleviate the short-time working which has arisen.

20. Mr. Collins

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he has taken following the representations made to him by the British Furniture Trade Joint Industrial Council in April last, with regard to the recession in the furniture trade.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I am considering these representations.

Dame Irene Ward

May I ask my right hon. Friend if he would bear in mind particularly the problem arising out of short-time working, because that is an urgent matter to people engaged in this trade?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will certainly bear that in mind.

Mr. Collins

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that it is not only a matter of short-time working but that a high percentage are unemployed, that the masters of Shoreditch are no longer masters because they have no men, and that he has been considering this matter for seven weeks because of difficulties which have arisen entirely through the action of Her Majesty's Government? What is he going to do to alleviate this situation quickly?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The question of the control of credit and other matters will probably fall to be discussed in the debate which we are about to enter upon today. Representations were made to me a fortnight ago upon this subject in detail by both sides of the industry, and I am considering those. I should prefer not to go further than that at this moment.