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Meriden Co-Operative

Volume 890: debated on Monday 21 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a further statement on production at the Triumph motor cycle co-operative at Meriden.

As my hon. Friend knows, the Meriden co-operative commenced operations on 10th March. As with any other limited liability company the responsibility for its affairs rests with its management.

Does my right hon. Friend accept that this undertaking is capable of making a substantial contribution to Britain's export performance? Does he also accept that the performance of the undertaking so far shows that workers ought to be given an important part to play in the management of the place where they work?

Obviously I agree with what my hon. Friend said. I have had the opportunity of visiting the factory, both during the period when the workers were campaigning for their establishment and since. Anybody who visits a factory like the one at Meriden where the people concerned are running their own affairs is bound to be struck by the dedication which they show to their work. I notice that tonight in a BBC television programme they will have the opportunity of talking about it themselves. I wish that many hon. Gentlemen opposite who criticise the co-operatives would go and see it for themselves.

The right hon. Gentleman has twice said that £4·95 million represents the ceiling of the Government's financial commitment towards Meriden. Will he undertake that during the present financial year there will be no further call on public funds either from Meriden or Norton Villiers Triumph?