HL Deb 25 October 1939 vol 114 cc1545-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

6.23 p.m.


My Lords, you will remember no doubt that the Cotton Industry (Reorganisation) Act which was passed into law on the 4th August last, would under Section 41 have come into operation in normal circumstances at the end of next week, the 4th November, three months afterwards. Shortly after the outbreak of war my right honourable friend the President of the Board of Trade held certain discussions with representatives of the cotton industry on the question whether it would be appropriate to bring the Act into operation during the present crisis, and it was agreed that while no doubt some form of organisation would be required to deal with various problems arising out of the war in the cotton industry, this could probably be accomplished by the establishment of a simpler organisation than that provided for in the Reorganisation Act. That Act, however, contains certain provisions, quite incidental to the main scheme which it embodies, which it is thought desirable to bring into operation at the present time. These provisions are contained in Section 24 and concern the operations of the Spindles Board which was set up under the Cotton Spinning Industry Act of 1936, to acquire and dispose of redundant plant in the spinning section of the industry. The effect of the provisions is to allow the Board to reduce the rate of the levy that it collects from cotton spinners or to collect only a portion of the full annual amount, in order that it may not be left with a considerable balance of money that it does not need after paying for the loans raised for the purpose of purchasing redundant plant.

It is thought that one or two other provisions of the Act ought to be brought into operation, and therefore, under the only operative clause of this Bill, it is laid down that the Board of Trade may bring into operation by Order such parts of the Act as my right honourable friend the President of the Board of Trade may think fit. The rest of the Act will be postponed until the end of the present war. I am afraid that there is only a short time for this Bill, and it is proposed I think by my noble friend the Leader of the House that the remainder of its stages shall be taken to-morrow in order to give the Bill time to go down to another place and come back here to receive the Royal Assent before the end of next week. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Templemore.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.