HC Deb 01 August 1944 vol 402 cc1135-6
2 and 3. Mr. Burke

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) how many of the factories in Burnley, now engaged on Government work, he proposes to maintain in production after the war in order to prevent a recurrence of the mass unemployment that existed in the area in the pre-war years;

(2) what parts of Lancashire are to be regarded as development areas.

Mr. Dalton

I am glad to say that during the war there has been a large amount of new industrial building in Lancashire and for this reason its need for further industrial development is less urgent than that of other areas. I hope, as I have previously said to the House, that these factories, particularly those of modern construction, will be fully used after the war.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that in parts of Lancashire, especially in the Wigan coal area, no new industries of any kind have been established, and that nearly all the working people are employed several miles away from their homes?

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir, but what I have said is undoubtedly true. Lancashire, as compared with certain other areas, has had a substantial amount of new industrial building and that means that its need for further industrial building is less than that of others.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Does my right hon. Friend realise that whole areas in some parts of the country have not had any war factories during the war?

Mr. Dalton

I am well aware of that.

Mr. Burke

Why must Lancashire be regarded as a unit? Other parts of the country are not so regarded, and parts of Lancashire have been as badly hit as any other parts in the country.

Mr. Dalton

If we break these things up into too small units we cannot have an effective plan. We must handle these areas in broad, large units but we will do our best to see that factories now working for the war effort, or on civilian work, will continue to be fully used after the war.