HC Deb 15 November 1938 vol 341 cc683-4
45. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of experience gained during the recent emergency, he will invite the chairman of the Royal Commission on the Location of Industry to expedite the issue of an interim report, together with recommendations, on the problem as it affects London?

Sir J. Simon

No, Sir. The chairman agrees with the view which my right hon. Friend indicated in reply to a question on 1st November, that it is better to wait until the Commission is in a position to issue a report on the whole subject referred to them.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Is it the case at present that the Government have no power whatsoever to veto the location of a site for an industry in London, even if the site is highly undesirable on strategic grounds, and if that be the case, is it not desirable that the Government should have such power as soon as possible?

Mr. Colville

As the reply contains a number of figures, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:

Sir J. Simon

The course which I have indicated is the course which is thought to be the shortest course in the end.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Pending powers, will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to see that businesses are not encouraged to go into large populous areas at the present time?

Mr. J. Griffiths

Are the experiences of the recent crisis, particularly in regard to the necessity of evacuating many thousands, if not millions, from London, being placed before the Commission as being a vital element in considering this very serious problem?

Sir J. Simon

I think we may safely take it that the Commission on the Location of Industry must have those matters in mind.