HC Deb 24 July 1956 vol 557 cc191-2
22. Mr. Green

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the official plans of the Indian Government to increase production of textiles for export from that country by approximately 300 million yards; and what conversations he has had with the Indian Government regarding the proportion of such increased production of Indian textiles to enter this country.

Mr. Low

Yes, Sir; my hon. Friend will be aware that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister mentioned to Mr. Nehru, whilst he was in London recently, the anxiety in Lancashire about the possible growth of duty-free textile imports and suggested to him that it would be in the interest of both the United Kingdom and India if there were discussions between representatives of the textile industries of the two countries. The way lies open for such talks.

Mr. Green

Whilst welcoming this initiative and expressing my hope that it will have some success, may I ask my right hon. Friend if he could arrange for any reports of conversations that may take place between Lancashire and Indian industrialists on this matter to be made available to those of us who are interested?

Mr. Low

I think that is a matter for the industry. The talks will be between businessmen, and I have a feeling that my hon. Friend may have closer access to them than he indicates.

Mr. Albu

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that if the Indians cannot export the simple products which they are capable of manufacturing at the present time, they will be unable to buy the plant and machinery with which to carry out their development plans?

Mr. Low

Yes, Sir, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will also bear in mind the other factors indicated.