HC Deb 12 November 1979 vol 973 c887
9. Mr. Trippier

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he is satisfied with the competitiveness of British industry.

Sir Keith Joseph

No, Sir.

Mr. Trippier

Is my right hon. Friend aware that more than 50 per cent. of the work force in my constituency are employed either in textiles or in the footwear industry, both of which are subjected to grossly unfair import competition? In spite of that, neither my right hon. Friend nor his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade seem prepared to do very much about it.

Sir K. Joseph

Representing the constituency that he does, I can see that my hon. Friend is bound to feel that at the margin there is always something more to be done. I must emphasise that, in the careful balance that we must keep, the protection that is now provided, through the multi-fibre arrangement on the one hand and the arrangements for the footwear trade on the other, goes a long way towards reconciling the interests of producers and consumers.