§ Mr. Albert Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will take steps to prevent the mining machine industry deteriorating.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The mining machine industry is, like many other sectors of industry, currently facing a reduced level of orders. The Department of Industry maintains close contacts with the industry, as well as with the National Coal Board, its major United Kingdom customer, about this and other developments and encourages the industry to make full use of all the relevant Government support facilities. Most notably, assistance is available from the Department of Industry for product development and from the Department of Trade for export activities.
It is very important, in these circumstances, that the industry makes every effort to improve its productivity and international competitiveness and to maintain its current export drive.