HC Deb 29 April 1965 vol 711 cc611-2
21. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will institute an official investigation of the present situation in the cotton textile industry, with a view to ascertaining what extra assistance might be given by the Government to this industry.

Mr. Darling

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Barnett) on 10th December last.

Mr. Howarth

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. Is he aware that, although the level of activity at the moment in the cotton textile industry is quite high, there is growing apprehension at the prospect of further cotton goods imports arising later this year? Are there any steps which his Department have in mind to control the situation?

Mr. Darling

Yes, Sir. The Board of Trade is in consultation with the Cotton Board and other interests concerned in this matter.

Sir C. Osborne

When the 10 per cent. surcharge is reduced will it affect the cotton trade?

Mr. Barnett

In view of the fact that the Answer which was given to me previously did not tell me very much, could my hon. Friend perhaps look into this matter again?

Mr. Darling

Yes, Sir.