HC Deb 26 July 1960 vol 627 cc1269-70
8. Mr. Jeger

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he is taking to guide industrial enterprises to Thorne, in view of the unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent. in that area of Yorkshire.

Mr. Maudling

Thorne is not, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, a locality in which a persistently high rate of unemployment exists or is expected; it is therefore not eligible for the special incentives to industry provided by the Local Employment Act. My Depart- ment will, however, continue to bring the facilities offered by the area to the attention of suitable firms, subject to the overriding needs of the development districts.

Mr. Jeger

If the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that 4.4 per cent. does not render Thorne qualified for special treatment, will he tell the House what figure of unemployment does qualify for special attention? Will he give up making ineffectual noises at the Box about being anxious to help when there is such a scandalously high level of unemployment in this area and he does nothing?

Mr. Maudling

We must preserve a sense of proportion in this. Thorne is within eight miles of Doncaster, where the unemployment rate was 1.1 per cent. and there are several hundred new jobs in prospect.