HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 c900
4. Mr. Edelman

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what further support he proposes to give the machine tool industry in substitution for the assistance given to it by the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation.

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade (Mr. John Davies)

Private financial institutions exist to provide expert advice to concerns requiring it as well as to organise the provision of finance in suitable cases.

Mr. Edelman

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that orders for machine tools are now at a record low figure, and that redundancies are continuing to rise? Does he agree that what is necessary for the machine tool industry is a general inflation of the economy in order to encourage investment and re-equipment of industry generally so that the machine tool industry may benefit from it?

Mr. Davies

I am very conscious of the fact that the machine tool industry is particularly responsive to the climate of investment at any time. This is clearly a matter that I am keeping very much in mind.

Mr. Dell

The Secretary of State has for some months had the report of the committee of inquiry into the machine tool industry. Can he say when he will announce the conclusions he draws from that report?

Mr. Davies

I am indeed looking at the whole of the problems of the machine tool industry, and I have to see in due course whether these considerations give rise to any conclusions that I can usefully communicate.