HC Deb 15 July 1958 vol 591 c981
8. Mrs. Mann

asked the President of the Board of Trade what consideration he has given to simplifying the procedure whereby industrialists from the United States and other foreign countries have to apply for permission to establish factories and other industrial enterprises in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Sir D. Eccles

I have examined the present procedure. It is difficult to simplify it because of the requirements of exchange control and the care we take with regard to the location of industry.

Mrs. Mann

Apart from that, is the President of the Board of Trade aware of the criticism directed to his Department from another place, by a noble Lord whose interest in employment in Scotland is recognised by all parties, in which he said that the efficiency of the arrangements of the Department were very poor indeed and that the Board of Trade's handling of American inquiries compared unfavourably with the practice in Holland, Belgium and West Germany? What has the right hon. Gentleman to say to that criticism?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Lady was, I think, quoting from a speech made in another place by a noble Lord who is not a Member of the Government. That is not in order.

Sir D. Eccles

This is a difficult and important problem. If I could find ways to simplify it, I would; but we have our planning controls and our distribution of industry policy which we must continue to try to operate.