Letter: John Major interview: future of Europe and manufacturing industry

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Sir: The day after you poured cold water over the launch of the Manufacturing and Construction Industries Alliance (Business and City Commentary, 3 March), you report none other than the Prime Minister climbing on board the manufacturing industry bandwagon.

John Major now tells us (4 March) that he was always opposed to his former leader's disdain for the need to reconstruct this country's manufacturing base. That didn't, however, prevent him from supporting all the measures which wiped out about 20 per cent of manufacturing in the 1981 government-induced recession.

As a union representing a quarter of a million skilled and professional workers in manufacturing industry, the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union is encouraged by the growing consensus in favour of an industrial strategy which gives the highest priority to manufacturing production.

But the problem is keeping the issue at the top of the industrial and political agenda. In our Manufacturing Matters document to be issued next week we urge the Government to create a manufacturing forum where all sides of industry can 'encourage Britain's social partners to forge a consensus on the causes of decline, nature of the remedies and responsibilities for future success'.

If the Prime Minister wants to underline his determination to rebuild manufacturing industry, let him ask his President of the Board of Trade to set up such a body.

Yours sincerely,


General Secretary, MSF

London, SW18