Short-sighted thinking over UK manufacturing

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From: R Hanson, Swallow Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield.

Further to your report on industry figures (Yorkshire Post, July 11), Britain needs exports of manufactured goods because it has not got the population to give its manufacturing industries a home market big enough to achieve the economy of scale to compete with countries such as China.

It also needs world-beating industries and innovation to make what the world wants.

The photo in the article shows massive steel ingots to be made into whatever. How ironic. Why?

Innovative Forgemasters was disallowed a paltry, even in Britain’s current financial state, £80,000,000 Government loan to install a forge, one of very few in the world, to forge even bigger ingots into the 350-ton bases needed for atomic reactors.

China is installing, or has installed, such a forge. To be able to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, Britain will now have to import these bases from China with all the logistical problems of transport and delivery times and possibly a problem with quality.

I know that the United States can provide what is required and maybe one or two other countries but this is not going to do anything for Britain’s balance of payments and has probably lost exports as well.

Unless the Government manages to get over such short-sightedness and really gets behind British manufacturing instead of paying only lip service there is no chance of manufacturing pulling Britain out of recession. As I said, how ironic.