HC Deb 25 November 1987 vol 123 cc256-7
14. Mr. Janner

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proposals he has for providing increased support for the traditional industries of Leicester.

Mr. Atkins

My right hon. and noble Friend and I are looking at the whole range of the Departmenfs policies to ensure that they are effectively targeted on the areas and on the people that most need assistance.

Mr. Janner

Is the Minister admitting that the traditional industries of Leicester and cities like it are in decline? Is he aware that the Government's policies of removing protection from workers and reducing the number of factory inspectors has led to intolerable sweatshop conditions, and that even the Government are investigating this? When will they provide the support that these industries need to bring back prosperity to a city which, when they came to power, was the second wealthiest in Europe and today is suffering greatly from unemployment and misery?

Mr. Atkins

I recently opened an exhibition of the wool and knitting industries, of which there are many representatives in the hon. and learned Gentleman's constituency. They spoke in glowing terms about the success of their traditional industries and felt that the serious problems facing them could be overcome with the continued support of the Government both at home and abroad.