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Cotton Industry

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1930

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37.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in his proposals for the compulsory reorganisation of the cotton trade, he intends to include the introduction of more looms per weaver?

68.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the precise reorganisation he requires from the cotton industry, in default of which His Majesty's Government intends to ask for powers to interfere with its conduct?

The lines for the reorganisation of the cotton industry are contained in the report of the recent inquiry into that industry. The question of the number of looms per weaver is a matter for adjustment between the operatives and the employers themselves.

Are we to take it that this question of compulsion in respect to the reorganisation of the cotton trade was merely an empty threat?

There is no question of a threat in this case at all. We have always made it clear that we want this work to be done on voluntary lines, but the industry has always recognised that, if that fails—and I earnestly hope it will not fail—all parties must consider other measures.

38.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can give particulars of the financial assistance created by the Government for the reorganisation of the cotton trade?

41.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what financial assistance the Government have created for the cotton industry?

69.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the precise financial assistance which His Majesty's Government claims to have created for the reorganisation of the cotton trade?

The statement made by the Prime Minister as to financial assistance during the debate of 4th November on the Address related to the Bankers' Industrial Development Company which was also referred to in the report of the Committee on the Cotton Industry. That company was set up to receive and consider schemes submitted by the basic industries of this country for the purpose of their rationalisation, either by industries or by regions. Particulars regarding the company were given in statements made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, as Lord Privy Seal, on 15th and 29th April last.

Have the Government any responsibility whatever for the policy of the Bankers' Industrial Company?

In view of the fact that the Government have no responsibility for the policy of the Bankers' Industrial Development Company, would it not be equally true to say, in view of the fact that no financial assistance has been forthcoming, that the Government have set up an organisation to prevent financial aid?

No, that I have already so far debated with the hon. Member and with representatives of the industry in Lancashire. That is not admitted for a moment.

Is it not a fact that the new Department that is announced to-day under Sir Horace Wilson is for the very purpose of co-ordinating such activities?

It is designed to deal with the reorganisation of industry, and, of course, it must study financial and other facilities. That does not mean that the Government are directly involved in the finance.

Is it a fact that the Government have given no financial assistance for Lancashire and that the Bank of England is the sole means from which Lancashire can expect assistance?

The Government are not directly involved in finance at all. It is well known that the Bank of England has been the foundation of a great deal of the effort of the Lancashire cotton reorganisation and for all I know of other efforts.