HC Deb 18 November 1974 vol 881 cc888-9
24. Mr. Spriggs

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will indicate what the future prospects are for trade in the domestic television tube industry, for 1974–75, 1975–76 and 1976–77, respectively; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Deakins

Official forecasts of trade in televsion tubes are not made. However, it is probable that, in conditions of less buoyant consumer demand, future growth in United Kingdom production, sales, exports and imports will at best be much slower than the expansion in recent years. Before long, production in the United Kingdom is likely to he confined to colour tubes.

Mr. Spriggs

I regret that records are not kept. Is my hon. Friend aware that two firms producing television sets in the United Kingdom will shortly be ordering black and white tubes from member States of the Common Market? In areas like Merseyside this will mean growing unemployment. What does my hon. Friend propose to do about this?

Mr. Deakins

A number of allegations have been made about the dumping of television tubes, and references have been made to the high level of imports which is affecting home production. The situation has improved a great deal, however, in the last few months. Comparing the third quarter of this year with the first quarter, imports of Japanese colour tubes are down by nearly one-half and imports from other countries, including the Common Market, are down by about two-thirds. Therefore, although the situation is not as good as we would hope, it has improved a great deal.