§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) on what grounds the proposed clothing, footwear and textiles scheme for technological investment in the United Kingdom clothing, footwear and textile industries has been disallowed by the European Economic Community;
(2) if he will outline the major proposals of the clothing, footwear and textile scheme for investment in the United Kingdom clothing, footwear and textile industries; and which of its provisions were objected to by the European Economic Community;
(3) what plans he now has for Government investment in the United Kingdom clothing, footwear and textile industries;
(4) what reasons the European Commission gave to his Department for its refusal to approve the implementation of the clothing, footwear and textiles (CLOFT) scheme for investment in the United Kingdom; if he has any alternative proposals for investment assistance in these industries; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
[pursuant to the reply, 26 February 1985, c. 114]: The aim of the clothing, footwear, knitting and textiles scheme, which was announced by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 19 March 1984, was to provide investment support for small firms in these industries to encourage them to invest in the most modern machinery. The proposal was to provide grants of 20 per cent. of the cost of certain high technology equipment, with a maximum grant of £40,000.
The Commission has concluded that the aid proposal did not meet the conditions necessary to benefit from any of the derogations of Article 92(3) of the Treaty of Rome and that it should not be implemented.
I have not yet seen the full text of the Commission's decision. When it becomes available, I shall wish to study the grounds on which it is based and its implications, and to consult with representatives of the industries concerned.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the total amount of Government investment in each of the following industries in the latest year for which figures are available; and what rate per 1,000 employees in
(a) the coal mining industry, (b) the steel industry, (c) motor vehicle manufacture, (d) the computer manufacturing industry and (e) the clothing, footwear and textile industry.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
[pursuant to the reply, 26 February 1985, c. 114]: I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. The annual reports provided under the Industrial Development Act give information about support for investment on a sectoral basis, but no information is available about support for innovation on that basis. Information on nationalised industries capital requirements and financing are set out in Part V of the "Government's Expenditure Plans 1985–86 to 1987–88". Questions relating to the coal mining industry are for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy.
§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has concerning the current annual levels of Government investment in the textile industries of each of the member countries of the European Economic Community.
§ Mr. Trippier
[pursuant to the reply, 26 February 1985, c. 114]: Comprehensive information on investment is not available. However, so far as sectoral aid schemes are concerned the position is as follows:
FranceIn April 1984 the European commission approved a textile
United Kingdom trade in yarns, fabrics, garments: Crude balance (£ millions) 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984* Yarns 8.7 60.0 -87.1 -142.7 -189.2 -220.9 Fabrics -378.1 -216.2 -382.3 -497.6 -726.9 -836.6 Garments -401.2 -378.1 -511.6 -597.4 -663.1 -930.0 Source: Yarns: Data corresponding to SITC/R2 Group 651 less 651.21 (wool tops). Fabrics: Data corresponding to SITC/R2 Group 652–656 plus 657. 1–657.4. Garments: Data corresponding to SITC/R2 Division 84 less Group 848 and item 847.11. Notes: The crude balance equals exports valued f.o.b. less imports valued c.i.f. * Provisional figures.
§ Mr. Gould
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in how many multi-fibre arrangement product categories multi-fibre arrangement suppliers increased their utilisation of their quotas to the United Kingdom by 10 per cent. or more in 1983 compared with 1982, and in 1984 compared with 1983.
§ Mr. Channon
[pursuant to the reply, 26 February 1985, c. 114–15]: Quota utilisation figures for multi-fibre arrangement suppliers for 1983 cannot be readily compared with those for 1982, as the quotas were adjusted following the renegotiation of the bilateral agreements in 1982. Quota utilisation figures for 1984 are not yet available.
§ Mr. Gould
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times the anti-surge mechanism in the multi-fibre arrangement bilateral agreements was used in 1983 and 1984; and on how many occasions other EEC member states utilised the anti-surge mechanism in the same period.200W
and clothing sectoral scheme, mainly comprising a provision whereby employers were relieved of part of their social security contributions. The overall ceiling for 1984 was FF 1.2 billion.
BelgiumCommission approval was given for the first two years (viz 1982 and 1983) of a proposed five year plan to aid restructuring of the textile and clothing sector. A request to extend the scheme into 1984 was refused by the Commission.
ItalyIn March 1983 the Commission approved a three-year scheme to restructure textile and clothing firms. About Lire 130 billion was made available each year in 1983 and 1984.
NetherlandsIn December 1983 the Commission approved an investment support scheme for the textile and clothing sector, subsequently limited to a total of HFL 65 million.
It is my understanding that none of the above schemes is still open for applications. However, aid may be provided through regional or general schemes not specifically targetted to the textile sector.
In the United Kingdom the textile, clothing and footwear sectors received or were offered under regional assistance and general schemes £66.4 million during 1983–84 and £25.7 million during the period April to September 1984.