HC Deb 05 February 1959 vol 599 cc563-4
27. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total financial assistance given to the 16 projects which he has approved under the Distribution of Industry Act, 1958.

Mr. Erroll

Financial assistance to a total of £378,250 has been offered for the sixteen projects.

Mr. Fernyhough

Since Her Majesty's Government attached so much importance to the 1958 Act in regard to the effect that it would have on absorbing the unemployed, does the hon. Gentleman think that a miserly expenditure of that kind is going to make any impact whatsoever on the growing unemployment problem, and does not he think that he ought to begin to tackle the job so that those now walking the streets seeking jobs may be given a little help?

Mr. Erroll

A total of over a third of a million pounds on this one form of assistance in a few months is quite a substantial achievement.

34. Mr. Oliver

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent applications have been made by employers for assistance under the Distribution of Industries (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958, since the passing of the Act.

Mr. Erroll

A total of 74 firm and eligible applications have been made, of which 16 have so far been approved.

Mr. Oliver

That reply means that a very small number of the total number of applications has been approved. Does not that suggest that it will take a long time before the effect of this Act will have any impression at all on the districts for which it is intended?

Mr. Erroll

No, we are doing rather well. Of 74 applications, 33 are still under examination and only 25 have been rejected.