HC Deb 08 December 1966 vol 737 cc1551-2
14. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will now make a statement on the future of the Cotton Board.

20. Mr. Hall-Davis

asked the President of the Board of Trade if the review of the future of the Cotton Board has been completed; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jay

An Order has now been laid before the House embodying the recommendations made to me by a working group of employers and trade unionists which conducted the review of the Cotton Board. The Order will shortly be debated; but I should like now to express my appreciation of the thorough and con- structive work which the working group has done.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Why does the right hon. Gentleman not include all textiles under this new body? Why did he exclude wool?

Mr. Jay

We wished to include all textiles, and we included all those which were willing to be included. I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman would not wish us to exercise compulsion on private enterprise in this respect.

Mr. Hall-Davis

During the period before the Order becomes effective, will the right hon. Gentleman keep in touch with the Cotton Board regarding the widespread closure of textile units which is now taking place in Lancashire, and keep under review the desirability of extending the districts of Lancashire available for development area assistance?

Mr. Jay

Yes, Sir. Certainly we are always in touch with the Cotton Board on all these matters.

Mr. Mapp

With regard to the Order to be brought in next week about the revised Cotton Board, will my right hon. Friend say whether there is any power included within the Cotton Board to deal with rationalisation schemes, and/or import quotas, or a similar high standing committee, and if not, why not?

Mr. Jay

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Order which is shortly to be debated, but in drafting this scheme we have followed the views of both management and trade unions in the cotton and textile industries.

Sir C. Osborne

Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Cotton Board to investigate why it is that Lancashire producers of yarn charge about 10d. a 1b. more for their yarn that we can buy it from the Continent?

Mr. Jay

That is another question, but I shall certainly look into it.