§ 10. Mr. Lawson
asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of new factory building completed in each of the Great Britain Development Areas from 1st January, 1945, to the latest convenient date.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
Figures of value of new factory building were discontinued after 1954 because the usefulness was in doubt owing to variations between estimates and final cost. I regret, therefore, I cannot give the hon. Member any satisfactory answer to his Question. The Monthly Digest, however, provides this information in terms of factory space.
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware, or will he confirm, that the cost of industrial building varies very greatly, and that, usually, the more expensive the building the greater is the job that the building provides? Will he look at the figures for 1954, for example, and take note that, in some areas, although there were not nearly so many square feet of building put up, there was very much more expenditure put out, and, therefore, there was very much more in the way of jobs provided? Will he see whether he can provide this dual test of development in the future, that is to say, taking into account the cost as well as the area in square feet?
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Can the Minister say whether there is any connection between the fact that the publication of annual figures ceased in 1954 and the fact that north-east Lancashire was made a Development Area in 1953? Was it the purpose of the discontinuance of annual reports after that date to conceal how little had been done in the new Development Area?
§ 11. Mr. Lawson
asked the President of the Board of Trade the amount of public money spent in the erection of new factory buildings in each of the development areas between 1st January, 1945, and the latest convenient date.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
In total, £71,598,506 by the Board of Trade under the Distribution of Industry Acts between 1st January, 1945, and 31st October, 1958. With permission, I will circulate figures for the separate areas in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the Parliamentary Secretary telling us that the figures relate only to expenditure under the Distribution of Industry Acts? Do not the Government spend also, for example, in the erection of steel mills? If we could get such figures, should we not be in a much better position to judge what is happening in these depressed areas?
§ Mr. Rodgers
In addition to the large amounts I have mentioned, of course, 1004 there are expenditures by the Ministry of Supply, the new town corporations and development corporations. It is true also that, although Scotland has less than one-third of the insured employees in all Development Areas, expenditure in Scotland is over one-third.
§ Following are the figures
§ Capital expenditure by the Board of Trade on the provision of factory premises in Development Areas of Great Britain in the period 1st January, 1945, to 31st October, 1958.
|Wales and Monmouthshire||21,450,479|