§ 35. Mr. Tomlinson
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if his negotiations with representatives of the workers at the Meriden plant of Triumph's are completed ; and if he will make a statement.
The Minister of State, Department of Industry (Mr. Eric Heifer)
An application by the proposed workers' co-operative at Meriden for financial assistance from the Government is under consideration in my Department.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Is my hon. Friend aware that the protracted nature of the problem is causing great hardship to those concerned and is also causing an ill-afforded loss to the country in the export potential of the Meriden plant?
§ Mr. Heffer
My hon. Friend will surely accept that the present Government are in no way responsible for the long time that has elapsed since the workers at the plant took their action. We have had this matter before us only since we were elected, and we have dealt with it as quickly as we can. I assure my hon. Friend that we are dealing with the matter very expeditiously indeed.
§ Mr. Leslie Huckfield
Will my hon. Friend accept the thanks of the workers of Meriden, many of who are my constituents, for the way in which he and his right hon. Friend have treated this application? Will he also bear in mind that since this matter has been going on since last September, everybody is hoping that a statement will be made in the House very soon?
§ Mr. Heffer
I am always happy to receive thanks from anybody. I assure my hon. Friend that we shall be reaching a conclusion at the earliest possible moment, and I hope my hon. Friend will relay that to the workers involved.