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Volume 893: debated on Thursday 12 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make urgent representations to the European Commission concerning the need to speed up negotiations with low-cost producers of textiles goods in order to reduce the present high level of imports into Great Britain.

We regret the delay in the negotiations between the EEC and the main low-cost supplying countries. I can assure my hon. Friend that we have left the EEC Commission in no doubt about our wish, which it shares, for a speedy and successful conclusion to these negotiations.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what consultations have been held since the Prime Minister's statement on 23rd May with representatives of the tetile industry on the granting of aid under the Industry Act 1972; what the results have been; and whether he can quantify the likely effects of proposed action on unemployment and short time working for such sector of the industry.

Immediately after the Prime Minister's statement, informal discussions were begun with the British Textile Confederation and members of different sectors of the industry on possible measures of direct assistance. It would be premature to comment on the outcome of these discussions before they are concluded.