HC Deb 19 March 1959 vol 602 cc617-9
27. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what circumstances applications for loans for factory building can be made to the Development Commissioners from areas scheduled under the Distribution of Industries (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958.

Mr. Erroll

As I said in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. M. Clark Hutchison) on 12th February, 1959, applications for loans from the Development Fund for factory building can be made in respect of projects in North-West Wales (including Anglesey), the crofting counties of Scotland, and the Buckie-Peterhead district. These are the same areas as those where factories were built with the help of the Development Fund prior to the passage of the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act. A document describing the procedure for applications is in preparation, and will be distributed shortly to local authorities in the areas concerned.

28. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications for grants and loans under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958, have been received from Anglesey; and how many have been accepted and rejected, respectively.

Mr. Erroll

Five firm and eligible applications under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958, have been received from Anglesey. Of these, one has been approved, three rejected and one is still under consideration.

Mr. Hughes

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many industries of substance which might come to the county to set up business are being deterred from making applications because of the rigid application of the 1958 Act on Section 4 of the 1945 Act, and would he not consider making a more generous interpretation of the Section?

Mr. Erroll

It is not for my right hon. Friend to interpret the Section but for the independent Advisory Committee which operates under the terms of the Act, which I believe the Committee interprets fairly and consistently as between one applicant and another.

Mr. Jay

Although that is perfectly true, is it not also possible for the Treasury to ask the Committee to reconsider some of these applications, and will the Economic Secretary look at one or two of those turned down in the case of Anglesey, which have been very hard cases?

Mr. Erroll

I study a number of applications, both those accepted and those rejected, myself, and I do not think that it would be right or proper to interfere in any way with the independent judgment of the Committee in which my right hon. Friend has the highest confidence.