Industry (Government Policies)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 10th July 1980.

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Photo of Mr Richard Body Mr Richard Body , Holland with Boston 8:30 pm, 10th July 1980

When I entered the Chamber a short time ago, I had no intention, Mr. Deputy Speaker, of seeking to catch your eye. However, the speech we have just heard from the hon. Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Ross) has propelled me to my feet, because I do not think that the hon. Member and other hon. Members who have spoken in the same vein appreciate the full consequences of their argument when they call, as they have called, for import controls.

Of course we may regret that many consumers in Britain will prefer to buy a Japanese car rather than one manufactured in Birmingham. We may regret that so many people prefer to buy a shirt manufactured in Korea rather than one manufactured in Lancashire. It is one thing to regret those purchases, but it is another thing altogether to say to British consumers "You shall not have the freedom to buy what you would wish to buy". When Opposition Members make speeches of that kind, they must be more frank with the British people. They should say "If given the chance, we shall take away people's freedom to buy what they would wish to have ".