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Government Flax Mills

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th May 1957.

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Photo of Mr George Jeger Mr George Jeger , Goole 12:00 am, 9th May 1957

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many Government flax mills are still operating; and his intentions regarding their continuation.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Four Government flax mills are still operating, but are expected to close in the present financial year. A fifth at Howden, Yorkshire, will close on 15th May.

Photo of Mr George Jeger Mr George Jeger , Goole

Will not the Minister reconsider his decision to close the factories in view of the appalling loss which the Government suffered on the sale of the equipment at Howden? Would it not be far better to keep the mills going?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I think that the hon. Member is wrong. When the decision to close them was taken, the loss to the Exchequer on them was running at £500,000 a year.