Textile Council (Dissolution)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1971.

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Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury 12:00 am, 14th December 1971

I endorse what has been said about the rôle of the trade unions in the textile industry. As I acknowledged in my opening speech, I entirely accept that their co-operation has led to a much more orderly industry than would otherwise have been the case, although, as the hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett) said, those concerned might not be completely happy with the present outcome of that co-operative approach. But it has nevertheless contributed to the strength of the industry.

This figure can be overplayed, but 11,500 people have left the Lancashire textile industry in the last year. We think that about 7,000 of them have already found jobs or have retired from the labour market. That shows the extent to which there is still a certain buoyancy in the Lancashire industry.