§ 56. Mr. Edelman
asked the Minister of Technology whether he is aware of the low state of the order books of many machine tool manufacturers and the consequential short-time working; and what action he is taking to make sure that the skills of the workers in this industry are fully employed.
§ Mr. Benn
Apart from general measures to encourage investment, special help to the machine tool industry is being provided through my Department's pre-production order and risk-sharing stock-building schemes, and through the Clearing Banks buyer credit scheme for machine tools. I should add that exports reached record levels last year.