HC Deb 10 December 1973 vol 866 cc25-6
20. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, in view of likely future demand for bicycles during the fuel crisis, he is satisfied that the supply will be adequate.

Mr. Chataway

The industry is at present satisfying demand in this country. Its prospects of continuing to do so depend on the ways in which the supply of its raw materials and the demand for its products are affected by the availability of oil. I shall continue to keep in close touch with the industry.

Mr. McCrindle

This is not intended to be a frivolous matter. Is my right hon. Friend aware that the demand for bicycles has increased substantially over the last three years and export orders continue to increase? Would not this be an appropriate time to encourage the cycle industry to expand? If we did that—perhaps this part of the question might be considered frivolous—and used cycles a little more, would it not be very much to our physical advantage?

Mr. Chataway

The industry has very good prospects but I do not think in the circumstances that it needs any encouragement from me to expand.

Mr. Ewing

Does the Minister see the situation arising in which Ministers will be supplied with bicycles instead of cars? If that situation is expected to arise, will he ensure that they have a fixed gear so that they may continue to back-pedal?

Mr. Chataway

I am sure that whatever the form of locomation we shall make equally impressive progress.