§ 41. Miss Wilkinson
asked the President of the Board of Trade when the preliminary work on the Jarrow steelworks is likely to be begun?
As the hon. Member is aware, the Commissioner for the Special Areas of England and Wales has announced that he has arranged to lease the land which he is acquiring at Jarrow, including the site of Palmer's Yard, to the new company which is being formed to build and operate a steelworks there. 1579 I am informed that, as soon as the site has been obtained, the promoters of the company hope to make more rapid progress.
There are certain formalities to be gone through, but I know that the Commissioner for the Special Areas realises the urgency, and that he is pressing on the transference as quickly as possible.
Is it not time that the site was actually purchased, seeing that it is several months now since an announcement was made concerning Jarrow?
Perhaps the hon. Member did not hear an answer which I gave previously disclosing the fact that certain difficulties had arisen in the intervening months, and that it would be necessary for the Commissioner to step in and acquire this land in order to lease it to the new company.
§ Mr. Lawson
Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Commissioner for the Special Areas to be careful about making announcements on these matters, as there has been disappointment among the people of Jarrow for some years?
§ Miss Wilkinson
In justice to the Commissioner for the Special Areas, will the Minister point out that it was not by the Commissioner that those optimistic announcements were made?