§ Mr. Cook
asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if he is aware of the increase in unemployment and short-time working in the jute industry; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent a further fall in employment in view of the strategic importance of this industry.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
My noble Friend is aware that there has been some increase in unemployment and short-time working in the jute industry due to a fall in demand in recent weeks. It is hoped that the employment position in the industry will shortly improve as a result of the reduction in selling prices of jute and jute goods by about £50 per ton on 2nd April last.