§ 15. Mr. G. M. Thomson
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement of the Government's future policy for the United Kingdom jute industry in the light of his decision further to reduce the mark-up on imported jute goods.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
This decision involves no change in the policy of maintaining State trading in the interests of employment in Dundee.
§ Mr. Thomson
Will the Parliamentary Secretary bear in mind that this decision, as we prophesied during the General Election campaign, is a breach of the undertakings given by his own Government to the United Kingdom jute industry, on the basis of which investors have invested £10 million during the last few years? Will he bear this very much in mind in ensuring justice for the United Kingdom jute industry in any consideration of its future?
§ Sir J. Duncan
Will my hon. Friend give an assurance that the reduction of 10 per cent. in the mark-up is the last that this Government will make in the life of this Parliament? What the industry wants is an assurance for the future.
§ Mr. Strachey
Why cannot the Parliamentary Secretary give that assurance? His failure to give such an assurance is a warning to the industry that it will be slowly strangled.