§ 32 and 33. Mr. G. Roberts
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) to what extent the concessions announced on 10th February regarding rentals of unoccupied factories in Development Areas will apply to areas scheduled under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958;
(2) to what extent arrangements for grant-aiding local authorities to clear derelict sites in Development Areas will apply to areas scheduled under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958.
§ Mr. Vaughan-Morgan
Those areas which are eligible for assistance under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958, qualify for the rental concessions and site clearance grants only if they are within the Development Areas which are scheduled under the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945.
§ Mr. Roberts
Is the Minister aware that his reply will cause great disappointment, particularly in the slate quarrying areas of North-West Wales, which have the highest unemployment figures in Britain and the biggest deposits of industrial waste? Would it not be reasonably sensible to apply these provisions to those areas, although they are not at present scheduled?
Mr. H. Wilson
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that for six years the Government have not used the powers which they already had under the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945, for the purpose of ensuring against unemployment in these areas? Now that the problem has developed on such an alarming scale, is it not clear from the hon. Gentleman's Answer that the Department's decision in respect of each of these areas is utterly beset by bureaucratic muddle? If there is this problem of assimilation between the two Acts of Parliament, will the hon. Gentleman introduce rapidly a consolidation Measure to make the situation dear, on the understanding that this side 186 of the House will give it the speediest passage?
§ Mr. Vaughan-Morgan
No, Sir. I have every hope that the facilities provided under the new Act will be very successful.