asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any announcement to make regarding the scheme for distinguishing between hand-woven and power-woven tweed recently submitted to him by the Highland and Islands Advisory Panel.
I have received this proposal, and am considering the whole question in consultation with the Treasury and the Board of Trade. I regret that it is not possible to make any statement meanwhile.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the urgency of this question, in view of the fact that the hand-loom tweed industry is now at a complete standstill, and will he see if it is possible to offer further help, in conjunction with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with a view to withdrawing the iniquitous Purchase Tax on hand-woven tweeds?
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's worry over this matter, but, as he knows, we have been studying this whole problem, and it would help us very much if this industry had some organisation or association that could help us in solving the technical and practical problems involved.