§ 65. Mr. HERBERT GIBSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Government are prepared to undertake surveys of the principal areas affected by the depression in the basic industries with a view to ascertaining the prospective employment capacity of existing industries and the possibilities of new industrial development?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
In connection with the efforts which are being made in certain areas to attract new industrial development, the Government have decided to put in hand at an early date industrial surveys in South Wales, Lancashire, on the North-East Coast of England, and in South-West Scotland. The co-operation of the universities in these areas has been invited. The object of the inquiries will be to present a survey of the present industrial position of the areas and of the prospects of early expansion and new development.
§ Mr. GIBSON
While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his answer, may I ask him if he will be good enough to consider taking into consultation the trade union leaders and the employers' 1852 leaders, in addition to the universities, when these schemes are being considered?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
Certainly. The whole object is to secure the co-operation of both sides of industry, and, as regards the trade unions, we shall be most particular to see that they are invited.
§ Captain PEAKE
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider including the West Riding of Yorkshire in the beneficial survey?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I should not like to go beyond the scope of this reply this afternoon, but the hon. and gallant Member may assume that no important industrial district will eventually be excluded. The initial effort is in the areas mentioned.
§ Sir ASSHETON POWNALL
Does the mention of the universities mean that the Government now realise the importance of the university franchise?