HL Deb 21 April 1964 vol 257 cc656-8

My Lords, I beg to move, That the Cotton Industry Development Council (Amendment No. 5) Order, 1964, be approved. This Draft Order, which requires an Affirmative Resolution from both Houses, further amends the Cotton Industry Development Council Order, 1948, made under the Industrial Organisation and Development Act, 1947, which enables the Cotton Board to finance its activities by statutory levy. The purpose of this Draft Order is to put man-made fibres and silk, so far as the provisions of the principal Order is concerned, on exactly the same footing as cotton. Since 1961, man-made fibres have been included for research purposes, for which special financial arrangements have been made, but not for other activities such as training or the promotion of productivity and design. As a result of this Order, manmade fibres and silk activities will be subject to the levy provisions on the same scale as cotton activities, but it is not proposed to increase the total amount levied from the industry at present, nor to raise the upper limit of £525,000 a year at present prescribed.

The textile processes covered by the Order—spinning, doubling, weaving, finishing and converting—remain unchanged. Apart from a few cases where silk is concerned, no firms not already within the scope of the Cotton Board will be brought within it. Nor does the Order make any change in the constitutional functions of the Cotton Board. As required by the Act, and as the preamble recites, the Cotton Board and the representative organisations and trade unions concerned, including silk, have been consulted. They have consented to the changes proposed in the Draft Order. I would remind your Lordships that the trade associations representing the spinners and weavers of cotton and man-made fibres have already amalgamated, and that the 1959 Act for the Reorganisation and Re-equipment of the Cotton Industry applied to the processing of man-made fibres in the Lancashire industry as well as to cotton. If the Draft Order is approved, the first levies will be charged in October in respect of operations in the six months ending September 30 next. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Cotton Industry Development Council (Amendment No. 5) Order, 1964, be approved.—(Lord Drumalbyn.)


My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord why there is no increase, when I take it that when the artificial fibres are brought in those industries will be getting certain additional benefits? I am sure that there is a simple explanation, but I gathered that there was some extension of the rôle of the Cotton Board in relation to these newly brought in sections of industry.


My Lords, when rayon and artificial fibres were brought in in 1961, an arrangement was made for an 11 per cent. Contribution from them. This has been found to be inflexible, in view of the way the total amount of the levy was divided up between various processes, and this Order puts the matter on a more flexible basis and brings in artificial fibres and silk on a completely even basis throughout the industry.

On Question, Motion agreed to.