HC Deb 16 December 1952 vol 509 cc1165-6
3. Mr. Grey

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has completed his survey of the Development Areas; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Henry Strauss)

I assume that the hon. Member refers to the examination, area by area, mentioned by my right hon. Friend in his statement on 29th October. That examination is not yet completed.

Mr. Grey

Is the Minister aware that his answer will be of great concern to the people living in the Development Areas and also to the industrialists who want to go there? May I ask him whether he will make up his mind speedily in order that the people in these areas may know where they stand?

Mr. Strauss

If the hon. Gentleman will refer to my right hon. Friend's statement, I think he will see the complexity of this inquiry. I am not underestimating its importance at all, and neither do I think that the hon. Gentleman desires the examination to be anything but thorough.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Can my hon. and learned Friend confirm that these boundaries are not fixed for all time, and that, if circumstances in the area permit, it would be possible to alter the boun- daries, either by widening or narrowing them, according to changing conditions?

Mr. Strauss

That was made clear in the statement by my right hon. Friend to which I have referred.

Mr. Grey

All I am asking is that the hon. and learned Gentleman should make up his mind swiftly.