§ 23. Mr. Christopher Price
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs when an economic development council for the motor manufacturing industry will be set up.
§ 26. Mr. Archer
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether he will institute discussions with a view to the setting up of a little economic development council for the motor industry.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Discussions are in progress about the establishment of an economic development committee for the motor manufacturing industry. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology said in the House on 22nd November, the main issue is the establishment of a satisfactory working relationship between an economic development committee and the existing consultative machinery for the industry, that is to say, the National Advisory Council for the Motor Manufacturing Industry.
§ Mr. Price
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in most people's eyes the 605 National Advisory Council has done very little good for this industry over the whole period of its existence since 1948? Can he tell us why the motor manufacturing employers are so reluctant to set up an economic development committee for their industry, because it is so vital for the industry's future?
§ Mr. Stewart
Negotiations for setting up a committee are proceeding, and I trust that they will be successful. It must be accepted that the National Advisory Council has done valuable work, but there are certain subjects which would be better dealt with if an E.D.C. could be established.
§ Mr. Archer
Does my right hon. Friend agree that in many sections of the motor industry managements have not been distinguished by their preparedness to consult with those whose livelihoods are most affected by their decisions? Would he agree, further, that any step which will impose upon them a sense of responsibility is to be welcomed?
§ Mr. Chapman
Does my right hon. Friend agree that, if it proves difficult to set up an E.D.C. for the whole industry, a number of the units in the industry are so big that we could quite well envisage separate small N.E.D.C.s for each one of them?
§ Mr. Stewart
I do not think we need pursue that yet. I hope the discussions for the establishment of an E.D.C. will be successful.