HC Deb 30 June 1955 vol 543 c501
49. Mr. Jay

asked the Prime Minister what further progress has been made by Her Majesty's Government in their efforts to assist the Government of Northern Ireland to reduce unemployment.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, gave a general review of this subject on 5th May. Since that date consultations have been proceeding between the United Kingdom Government and the Government of Northern Ireland on the setting up of the Advisory Development Council which my right hon. and gallant Friend foreshadowed. The appointment of the chairman of this Council will, I hope, be announced in the near future. Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have made it clear that they will be ready to support this initiative in whatever way seems most appropriate, not excluding the provision of such supplementary finance as may be needed.

Mr. Jay

Can the Prime Minister say whether, in addition to this new body, the Board of Trade will continue in future to give assistance to the Northern Ireland Government in attacking this serious problem, as it has done in the past?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. A number of steps have been taken, of which I could give details if the hon. Gentleman would like to put on the Order Paper a Question for Written Answer on this matter.

Captain Orr

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that one of the difficulties in the Northern Ireland economic situation is the very high cost of both industrial and domestic coal? Will he draw the attention of the Leader of the House to our desire to have a debate on the Report of the National Coal Board in the near future?