HC Deb 28 October 1937 vol 328 cc221-2
6. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour the number of site companies set up under the provisions of the Special Areas (Amendment) Act; the location of those site companies; and the number of persons found employment thereby?

Mr. E. Brown

No site company under the Special Areas (Amendment) Act has so far been registered, but negotiations by the Lancashire Industrial Development Council for the formation of a site company in Lancashire are now in an advanced stage. I expect to receive from the council, at an early date, representations as to the areas where they wish the company to operate. So far as I am aware, negotiations in respect of site companies in other parts of the country have not reached a similar stage at present.

Mr. Griffiths

Is it not the case that, apart from the single instance which the right hon. Gentleman has given, the provisions of this Act are utterly useless to these distressed areas which are outside the scheduled areas?

Mr. Brown

I do not agree with that view at all. It all depends on local initiative and a good many localities are taking an interest in the matter.

Mr. Lawson

Do not the figures which have been given show that this part of the Act is practically a dead letter and is not really acting at all?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member is giving expression to his own judgment.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not a fact that the financial provisions of the Act make it almost impossible for new industries to be established?

Mr. Brown

The answer which I have given shows that they do not think so in Lancashire, and they are shrewd judges there as a rule.

Mr. A, Jenkins

Are any negotiations proceeding in South Wales for the setting up of a site company?

Mr. Brown

I should have notice of that question.