§ 22. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Minister of Technology when he expects to be able to announce the outcome of his discussions regarding the level of jute import quotas for the second year of operation.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology (Dr. Ernest A. Davies)
An announcement on the jute import quotas for the quota year was made by the Ministry of Technology on 6th February. It has been decided that the quotas should remain unchanged for the year beginning 1st May, 1970, and should be allocated to those who received a quota allocation in 1969–70.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
We are, of course, relieved that the Government have finally been persuaded to freeze the jute import quota. But, as there have been approximately 1,000 redundancies in the industry in Scotland during the past year alone, is not it desirable that either the right hon. Gentleman or the Prime Minister should come to Dundee soon and explain what the Prime Minister meant when he said that jute jobs would be safe under Labour?
§ Dr. Davies
If the hon. Gentleman wishes to take issue with my right hon. Friend, I am sure that he would get more than a sufficient answer for him to digest. This is the third occasion on which the hon. Member has sought to link quotas with the employment situation in Dundee. Broadly speaking, employment in the Dundee area has been maintained despite the shrinkage of the jute industry. The Government are very much alive to employment problems in that area and are keeping a constant watch on the situation. Both sides of the industry have acknowledged that the introduction of quotas has 808 had no effect on the employment situation in Dundee. The hon. Gentleman really should take note of that.