Exemptions and Reliefs

Part of Clause 2 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

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Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , Oswestry 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

The jute industry and those activities ancillary to it can count themselves lucky to have so fluent and cogent an advocate as my hon. Friend the Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce- Gardyne).

The point which occurs to me relates to the machine tool industry, and a development which we have seen in the British machine tool industry over recent years. It is one which is welcomed by both sides of industry. I am referring to the development of certain lines of machine tool manufacture and certain sophisticated designs as a result of American investment and partnerships in association with British machine tool companies. The obvious case is Herbert-Ingersoll, which has a very sophisticated line of machine tools now being installed at Daventry. That is one example of the trend which is in wide evidence.

These are imports of parts, very often from the American partner, which are essential to the build up in this country of machine tool designs which hitherto have not been manufactured here. Once the designs are manufactured in this country, it will mean that we shall no longer need to import them from North America or from our Western European competitors. Developments of this kind are put in some jeopardy by the Bill, and I am sure that the Minister will be anxious to assure the House that that kind of importation will be allowed to continue, and will not be harassed in any way.