§ Mr. E. Johnson
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now make a statement about the future of the Clothing Industry Development Council.
§ Mr. H. Strauss
Yes. My right hon. Friend has decided, subject to the approval of Parliament, to make an Order under the Industrial Organisation and Development Act, 1947, for dissolving the Clothing Industry Development Council. A draft Order to this effect has been laid today.
I am glad to say, however, that representatives of the employers and trade unions in the clothing industry have agreed to set up as soon as possible a voluntary body consisting of representatives of both sides of the industry. Its functions will include research into problems affecting production, marketing and distribution, materials, equipment and methods of production, the provision of advice to individual undertakings on methods of increasing efficiency and productivity, the promotion of export trade, the improvement of quality and design, and the training of persons engaged in the industry.
In order to assist the new voluntary body in the exercise of these functions, my right hon. Friend intends, in accordance with the provisions of the Dissolution Order, to make available funds from 124W the surplus assets of the Council, which are expected to be substantial. Further, my right hon. Friend has expressed his willingness, after the Council has been dissolved, and subject to the approval of Parliament, to make an Order under Section 9 of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act, 1947, providing for a levy to be raised from the industry to finance the joint body's work in scientific research, promotion of export trade or improvement of design.