Cotton Textile Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th January 1959.

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Photo of Mr Charles Hale Mr Charles Hale , Oldham West 12:00 am, 29th January 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has now had an opportunity of considering the representations he has received from the mayors and chairmen of the councils of Lancashire cotton towns; and what replies he has sent.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I saw a deputation of Lancashire mayors last summer but the hon. Member may be referring to representations from the Rochdale and District Cotton Crisis Action Committee. I have replied fully to the Committee and I am sending the hon. Member a, copy of my letter.

Photo of Mr Charles Hale Mr Charles Hale , Oldham West

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, but is he aware that the whole House will be anxious to know whether that letter contains any suggestions for doing anything for the cotton industry and whether the Government have any proposals for re-invigorating the industry, as Lancashire towns are asking about it? Perhaps we may have an answer to that.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Perhaps the hon. Member will read the letter and see for himself.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Is not the President of the Board of Trade still underrating the volume of feeling about this in Lancashire? In view of the number of blows which the cotton industry has suffered lately, will the right hon. Gentleman, if he does nothing else, take new steps to bring new work and industry into these areas?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I do not underestimate the feeling at all and we are considering whether there are any new steps that can be taken now.