asked the President of the Board of Trade how many spindles have been offered for sale and bought by the Spindles Board since the Cotton Spinning Act was passed; how much money has been extracted from the cotton spinning industry by the levy provided for in that Act; how much of this has been expended by the board up to date on the purchase of redundant spindles; how it is proposed to deal with the balance in hand; and for how much longer the levy is to be collected?
As regards the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given on the 2nd February to the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman). The amount of money collected by way of spindles levy during each accounting period will be shown in the accounts which, under Section 9 of the Cotton Spinning Industry Act, the Spindles Board are required to submit to the Board of Trade. The Board of Trade are required to transmit these accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General who, after examining and certifying them, must lay copies before the House. Redundant spindles are purchased out of moneys borrowed by the Spindles Board for the purpose under Section 4 of the Act, and the revenue derived from the spindles levy is applied towards the service of the loan and administrative expenses. The levy is not used directly for the purchase of redundant spindles. Under Section 5 of the Act, the levy is payable for 15 years from the appointed day, which was fixed as the 14th September, 1936, but there is power under Section 6 to terminate it earlier if all liabilities and expenses incurred by the Spindles Board have been paid.