Cotton and Wool Textiles (Orders)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr David Ginsburg Mr David Ginsburg , Dewsbury 12:00 am, 29th November 1960

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will publish separate statistics on the level of orders in the cotton textile and wool textile industries.

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

No, Sir. Information about orders is supplied voluntarily to the Department on the understanding that figures for separate industries will not be published.

Photo of Mr David Ginsburg Mr David Ginsburg , Dewsbury

Will the Minister consider the matter again? Will he bear in mind that we are dealing with two very different industries and that the present classification obscures that fact?

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

The difficulty is that the indicies are intended to indicate the changes in business confidence in a general way, but we are under an obligation not to disclose information relating to particular industries.

Photo of Mr David Ginsburg Mr David Ginsburg , Dewsbury

asked the President of the Board of Trade what has been the change in the level of net new orders for clothing and textiles for the third quarter of 1960 compared with the third quarter of 1959.

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

Net new orders received by the textile and clothing industries in the third quarter of 1960 are estimated to have been 18 per cent. less than in the third quarter of 1959.

Photo of Mr David Ginsburg Mr David Ginsburg , Dewsbury

Is not this a very serious decline indeed? Is the Minister satisfied that the prospects for production are reassuring at the present time?

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, there was heavy forward ordering in the second half of last year, and that is the period with which the comparison is being made. With regard to the second part of the supplementary question, it may reassure the hon. Gentleman to know that orders on hand at the end of September were 9 per cent. more than at that time last year.