HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 cc1085-6
6. Mr. Orme

asked the Minister of Technology what increase was obtained by the United Kingdom electronic components industry in production and exports in 1965 compared with 1964.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology (Mr. Richard Marsh)

Increases in exports obtained by the electronic components industry between 1964 and 1965 amounted to 15 per cent. for valves, tubes and semiconductors, where the figure rose from £12.4 million to £14.2 million and to just over 30 per cent. for resistors, capacitors and transformers, where the figure rose from £3.5 million to £4.6 million. There are at present no complete statistics of production for the industry.

Mr. Orme

While thanking my hon. Friend for giving those encouraging figures, may I ask him to say what steps his Ministry is taking to ensure that these are increased even further, particularly since we have the capacity in British industry to export the very things mentioned in the Question?

Mr. Marsh

The industry is entitled to be congratulated for its extremely good performance during the past year. However, there is still a great deal more that we can do from the point of view of the country and the industry to make ourselves even more competitive.

Mr. Biffen

In view of the interest there is in this subject, would the hon. Gentleman represent to his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade the desirability of collecting these statistics so that one may determine to what extent they are accounted for by British companies which are the subsidiaries of American parents?

Mr. Marsh

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that the keeping of statistics in this sphere is not satisfactory at present. That is being reviewed now with a view to putting them on a better footing, although I cannot resist returning to the point that it is a pity the statistics were not reviewed a long time ago.