§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are aware that British manufacturers appear to have almost wholly lost their once predominant position in the supply of petrol engines for garden tools in the home market; and, if so, whether any investigations have been made and whether any remedies are in view.]
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF HOUSING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (LORD KENNET)
My Lords, my right honourable friend the Minister of Technology is aware of the difficulties that have arisen in the supply of small petrol engines from British industry for lawnmowers and other garden tools. His Ministry are in touch with firms concerned to see whether there is any way in which help can be given.
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his Answer, which confirms the rather unfortunate position of this industry and which means that we are spending many millions of pounds in foreign exchange. Is there any question of dumping involved?
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, I wonder whether my noble friend could make it clear chat the whole of the British agricultural machine industry is not working at a disadvantage with foreign competitors. There is one com- 154 pany which manufactures a certain type of agricultural machine—I must not mention its name—which exports 66 per cent. of its output.
§ LORD KENNET
My Lords, that raises wider issues relating to the entire agricultural machinery industry. The Question was addressed only to small petrol engines for garden tools, where different considerations apply.