asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement concerning the activities of British Overseas Cottons, Limited; and whether the accounts of this Company will be made available to the public?
The main function of British Overseas Cotton, Ltd., is to assist, in conjunction with the Cotton Control and the merchant interests, in the planned production of cloth for export. It arranges production of suitable cloths in bulk and resells, at cost, to merchants holding export quotas. Copies of the Company's annual profit and loss accounts will, I understand, be published shortly.
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that this Company is being operated really in the best interests of the industry and that the best use is being made of the services of merchants and others, who are far more familiar with the problems of the industry than most people in the Control?
The Control is under the Minister of Supply. This Company is of special service to the smaller merchants, many of whom would not be able to export at all but for having their orders grouped together through the good offices of British Overseas Cottons, Ltd., which is performing a very valuable service to the smaller people.
Is it not a fact that this Company has made a very substantial loss? Cannot we have some figures about it?
The figures will be issued shortly.