HC Deb 26 April 1967 vol 745 c1599
41. Mr. John Hall

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the extent of the hardship caused to the furniture industry by the Government's economic measures; and what action he proposes to take to check the rise in unemployment and short-time working in the industry.

Mr. Jay

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State has discussed the situation with a deputation from the industry, but we cannot yet relax the hire-purchase restrictions on furniture.

Mr. Hall

Does the Minister not agree that this is a very disappointing reply? Is he not aware that the furniture industry, particularly in my constituency, is going through a very difficult time and that several firms are faced with the possibility of having to suspend business? Will he, therefore, look at the matter again to see whether he can prevent the increase in hardship in the industry?

Mr. Jay

I note what the hon. Member said. The purpose of these restrictions was to restrain the general level of demand for balance-of-payments reasons, but nobody would wish to maintain them longer than necessary.