HC Deb 30 October 1952 vol 505 cc2090-1
25. Mr. H. Wilson

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he intends to present a further White Paper on progress in the Development Areas, in view of the passage of over four years since Command Paper No. 7540 was laid before the House.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I have much sympathy with the right hon. Gentleman's request and at a later stage, when I have had the opportunity of following the progress of the proposals which I outlined yesterday, I shall certainly consider whether it would be desirable to lay a further White Paper before the House.

Mr. Wilson

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, but is he not aware that it was understood that these reports would come out at intervals of at any rate not less than three years? In view of the feeling in most of the Development Areas, which I know, that development area policy is now virtually dead, when he produces this Report will he give some indication of an awakening of his interest in that policy?

Mr. Thorneycroft

As only yesterday I announced an extension of Development Area policy, I do not think it is true to say that it is dead. I am, however, not out of sympathy with the broad suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman that a White Paper should be issued at some time. All I suggest is that we should wait and see how the policies I outlined yesterday can be followed in practice before we do so.

Mrs. Castle

Will the right hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that he will make a reality of the Development Area policy for North-East Lancashire which he announced yesterday and, as part of that reality, extend the boundaries of the area which he announced to include the whole of the weaving belt in North-East Lancashire?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That is another question.

Mr. Chetwynd

Would it be possible for the President to publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of places where he is relaxing conditions for the construction of new factories, both inside and outside the Development Areas?

Mr. Thorneycroft

No, Sir. Each case will be considered upon its merits as it comes forward. I do not think it is at all suitable for me to publish a list of possible places. I should merely be pressed constantly to include others.