HC Deb 25 January 1978 vol 942 cc641-2W
Mr. Kenneth Clarke

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether the reductions of EEC quotas for the import from Hong Kong of cotton fabrics, woven trousers, woven shorts and knitted briefs were made for the benefit of the British textile industry, other EEC member States' textile industries or other importers; and what estimates have been made of the likely source of the goods that will replace the goods that might otherwise have been imported from Hong Kong.

Mr. Meacher

Quotas for these and certain other products from a number of dominant suppliers, including Hong Kong, represent a reduction in 1976 levels of trade. The arrangements involved were made in order to provide adequate protection for the textile industries in the EEC as a whole, including the United Kingdom industry, without excluding newcomers entirely from the market. It is not possible at this stage to estimate how the newcomers' share of the quotas will be allocated.