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Textile Industry

Volume 986: debated on Monday 16 June 1980

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asked the Prime Minister what representations she has received from the Manchester chamber of commerce and industry about the depressed state of the textile industry ; what reply she has sent; what action she is taking; and if she will make a statement.

The Manchester chamber of commerce and industry wrote to me on 6 June about the difficulties facing the industry. It lent its support in advance to the representations made by Members of Parliament and a delegation from the industry at a meeting with me and the Secretaries of State for Industry and Trade on 9 June.The Secretary of State for Industry has replied to the chamber on my behalf explaining that, as we made clear at the meeting on 9 June, the Governent fully appreciate the concern within the industry about the difficulties it is facing.We shall do all we can to help the industry within the framework of our international obligations and our broad economic objectives. In particular, we shall continue to make every effort within the European Community to ensure that the existing procedures for controlling low cost imports under the multi-fibre arrangement are implemented as effectively and swiftly as possible. We shall also seek a continuation of effective restraints when the arrangement comes up for renegotiation at the end of the next year.As far as domestic economic policies are concerned, it is in the interests of the textiles industry, as for industry generally, that we should press ahead with our overriding objectives of bringing inflation under control and creating the right basis for a competitive and efficient economy.