HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 c1418
20. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the Textile Council's Productivity Study.

Mr. Crosland

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Oakes) on 16th April.—[Vol. 781, c. 253.]

Mr. Howarth

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware of the real concern in the industry about the position after 1970? Manufacturers are eager to know what protection they can look forward to in the 1970s.

Mr. Crosland

I am well aware of the concern in the industry, and have been so for some time. I heard it again expressed at the Textile Council's annual spring conference only a fortnight ago, at Nottingham. The conclusions in the report of the productivity and efficiency study are not directly solely at the Government; they are equally directed at the industry itself.

Mr. Hall-Davis

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that reports have been in front of him for over a year dealing with major problems of the textile industry—for instance, the Monopolies Commission's Report? We have been asked to wait until the Textile Council productivity report was made. This places him under an obligation not unduly to delay.

Mr. Crosland

I entirely accept that. I accept complete responsibility for announcing Government decisions without undue delay, but having had the report—I forget the exact time—only recently, I must have discussions with the industry through the Textile Council. I propose to do that over the next two months, and as soon as possible after that I shall announce our conclusions to the House.