§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will initiate discussions with firms producing asbestos to assist in their transference into asbestos substitutes and to provide alternative jobs for ex-asbestos workers.
§ Mr. MacGregor
[pursuant to his reply, 28 July 1982, c. 435]: The Department of Industry is already supporting the search for asbestos substitutes by the provision of financial assistance for a number of projects with that objective. There is a variety of available schemes of assistance and the industry is aware of the Department's willingness to respond positively to requests which meet its requirements. The most important contribution the Government can make to providing alternative work is fostering an economic climate in which industry can thrive. To this end we will continue to work to reduce inflation, to bring interest rates down and to promote competition.