HC Deb 20 March 1972 vol 833 cc1063-4
18. Mr. Fox

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the rise in net new orders in the engineering industries in the third quarter of 1971 as compared with the average of the first half of 1971.

Mr. Ridley

Ten and a half per cent. in terms of volume, seasonally adjusted.

Mr. Fox

As this industry is, after textiles, the largest employer of labour in my constituency, will my hon. Friend on every occasion answer those people who denigrate the industry, sections of which are doing extremely well thanks to the Government's policy?

Mr. Ridley

It is true that there has been a recovery in engineering orders and the conditions seem now to be set fair for a further expansion in the industry. I agree that it has every chance of taking advantage of present conditions.