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Local Authorities (Purchasing Policy)

Volume 983: debated on Thursday 24 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a circular to local authorities requiring them to give preference to British producers, particularly of textiles, and to show good cause if they purchase foreign goods.

I have no power to impose on local authorities such a requirement, which would in any case conflict with our obligations to our EEC partners on non-discrimination. Local authorities must always be ready to justify their purchasing decisions and I hope that they do in fact buy British products wherever possible.