HC Deb 01 December 1953 vol 521 c939
25. Mr. Jay

asked the President of the Board of Trade which local authorities he has consulted with a view to removing areas from the list of those scheduled as Development Areas under the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945.

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

None, Sir. No occasion to do so has yet arisen.

Mr. Jay

Will the Minister think very carefully before interfering with arrangements which have proved so successful but which have by no means finished the job?

Mr. Strauss

Yes, I can give the hon. Member that assurance, but I am sure that he will agree that it is the duty of the President of the Board of Trade to bear in mind the provisions of Section 7 of the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the Minister aware that this is a matter of great interest to Scotland, and can he give an assurance that this sort of thing is not being considered at all?

Mr. Strauss

It would be entirely improper to give an assurance that the President of the Board of Trade is going to ignore the provisions of a section of a statute, but there is no cause for apprehension. If the right hon. Gentleman will study the provisions of Section 7, he will note that before the President takes any action or asks Parliament for approval, which will be necessary, he has to consult the local authorities concerned.

Mr. Mellish

On a point of order. Can you help us, Mr. Speaker? Can something be done to make the Minister's voice more cheerful? It is making us so unhappy on this side of the House.