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Shipbuilding And Textile Industries

Volume 984: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry in which way the European Commission's draft proposals for the establishment of the industrial restructuring and conversion fund for the shipbuilding and textiles industries was considered to be unsatisfactory, and the Government could not therefore give the proposals their support; and if he will make a statement on the present position of the proposal and the progress which is expected by the European Commission during the remainder of 1979.

The European Commission put forward in 1978 a draft regulation for financial aid towards restructuring or conversion of a number of industrial sectors which would have included shipbuilding and textiles. No member State supported the Commission.The United Kingdom opposed the measure because it placed insufficient emphasis on conversion, and as drafted would not necessarily have directed aids to those sectors and areas most in need. More generally we considered that it would have been preferable to allocate any available money to existing Community instruments.It is now for the Commission to make fresh proposals during the course of this year.