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Federation Of British Industries And Trades Union Congress (Discussions)

Volume 649: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1961

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5 and 6.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many times during this year he has met representatives of the Federation of British Industries to discuss export incentive schemes; and what were the results of these meetings;

(2) on what date he met the Trades Union Congress this year to discuss incentive schemes for exports to the Continent; and what was the result of the meeting.

My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and I are in frequent touch with the Federation of British Industries, the Trades Union Congress and other interested bodies on the means of promoting exports. For example, the National Production Advisory Council on Industry, on which both these bodies are represented, has had several discussions on this subject this year. On export incentives, I would refer my hon. Friend to my speech in the House of 7th November.

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for that reply. Will he bear in mind that the F.B.I. told me this morning that there have been no official negotiations on this matter since 1955? Will he also bear in mind the letter from the Trades Union Council saying that the General Council has not met the Chancellor specifically for this purpose? I suggest that the Chancellor should be looking at this right away.

We have quarterly meetings of the N.P.A.C.I. That is the body on which both these bodies are represented, and this year we have discussed the matter on several occasions.

While the right hon. and learned Gentleman is pursuing his elephantine methods of thought on this question, will he—

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter at the earliest opportunity.

Will the Chancellor give particular consideration to two proposals, first, for a differential investment allowance which we on this side of the House voted for in Finance Bill after Finance Bill for many years, and, secondly, the question of the turnover tax which we suggested to him last July?