Orders of the Day — Customs (Import Deposits) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th November 1969.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees 12:00 am, 17th November 1969

—that if small firms are in difficulties, it is less likely that they will be concerned with problems of liquidity than with considerations of, for example, managerial competence. However, I am not dismissing the arguments that have been adduced and I do not want it to be thought that we are indifferent to this matter or will not watch it very closely. We will certainly do so.

To hon. Members who have spoken about E.F.T.A. I say that, while I respect their feeling that there was something at stake here, and while it was right for them to mention our obligations to E.F.T.A., there seems to have been a curious persistence in the Opposition's approach to this problem. They are more royalist than the king.

E.F.T.A. has considered this matter. It has heard statements both last year and on this occasion from my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. It is in a position to make such inquiries as it thinks should be made. Surely E.F.T.A. can decide its own view of this scheme without requiring hon. Gentlemen opposite to make unnecessary speeches about it.