HC Deb 24 February 1972 vol 831 cc369-70W
Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will now make a statement on the arrangements to be made for importing jute textiles after 30th April, 1972.

Mr. John Davies

After careful consideration of all the interests involved, I have decided to extend the present quota period (1st May, 1971 to 30th April, 1972) by two-thirds (i.e. to 31st December, 1972) and to increase the 1971–72 quota levels by two-thirds. The effect is to maintain quotas at current levels until the end of the year. This decision will maintain the present level of protection for Tayside in view of the present high unemployment there. At the same time, it will allow jute textile importers a degree of flexibility needed because of delays of supplies from the sub-continent. In addition it will bring the United Kingdom control period into line with that of the E.E.C. and facilitate arrangements to be made by the enlarged E.E.C. Holders of existing allocations under the quotas will be invited to apply for licences for the period to 31st December, 1972 within their increased allocations. The present decision does not affect existing arrangements for the issue of ad hoc licences on behalf of end-users should these be necessary to meet any shortfall in supply by the Tayside industry as a result of shortage of raw jute.