HC Deb 26 January 1960 vol 616 cc9-10
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?

Mr. Rodgers


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. Rodgers

I am afraid that I cannot give such an assurance.

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.