asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is yet able to say what steps he proposes to take to deal with unemployment and short-time working among textile and footwear operatives.
These difficulties stem largely from the drop in demand reflecting market conditions in the United Kingdom and the world generally. However, footwear and textile firms should benefit from the measures announced in the November Budget to strengthen the private industrial sector. Restraints on disruptive imports of textiles and garments already exist and have recently been reinforced on cotton yarns and by arrangements to spread restricted imports more evenly among EEC member States. We support EEC negotiations with supplier countries for some restraints on disruptive exports of knitted textiles. We are looking urgently into the claim of disruption by certain footwear imports.