HC Deb 07 April 1960 vol 621 cc555-6
35. Mr. Short

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress his Department has made in attracting another firm to the Stephenson Hawthorn factory in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Mr. J. Rodgers

I regret that we have not been able to find a new occupier.

Mr. Short

Will the Minister bear in mind that the closure of his factory will be very bad indeed, from the point of view both of employment and of the prestige of the district? Will he remember that it is the oldest engineering works in the North of England and one of the oldest in the country, and that George Stephenson's "Rocket" was built there? Will he bear in mind that English Electric bought the factory three years ago and is now closing it without any regard to its social obligations to the workpeople? Will the hon. Gentleman do his best to get another labour-employing industry there and ensure that it is not turned over to warehousing?

Mr. Rodgers

We appreciate the importance of the factory to the area and we are doing our best to find a tenant, but I am afraid we cannot do more.