HC Deb 05 March 1959 vol 601 c606
19. Mr. Houghton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that one of the oldest-established firms in Elland, R. and J. Holroyd, Limited, cotton spinners and doublers, Springwood Mills, Holywell Green, is to close within a few weeks, and that from 15 per cent. to 20 per cent. of the working population of the village of Holywell Green will be out of work; whether he will extend the provisions of the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act to cover this area immediately; and what other steps he proposes to take to avert unemployment in this village.

The President of the Board of Trade (Sir David Eccles)

I am aware that this mill is shortly to close, but the level of unemployment in the surrounding district is low and the men and women who lose their jobs have a good prospect of finding other work. I understand that many of them have already done so, and I shall watch the position carefully.

Mr. Houghton

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply. Will he agree that, where a small community is gathered round one centre of industry, it is desirable, if possible, to restore the community interest by reoccupying the mill for industrial purposes? Will he direct his attention to that? Is he aware that for members of a small community like this to be travelling to neighbouring communities for work will destroy the cohesion of that village community and leave a derelict mill as a standing condemnation of the Government's economic policy?

Sir D. Eccles

I am afraid that I do not know the particulars of the buildings concerned, but I will look into the matter and see whether there is any chance of finding another tenant.