HC Deb 03 March 1960 vol 618 cc1419-20
46. Dame Irene Ward

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will consult local authorities, industrialists, and trades union leaders as to the advisability of establishing a northern region development council on the lines of the Scottish Development Council in order to unify the efforts of the North to attract new industries.

Mr. J. Rodgers

No, Sir. I consider that such matters should be left to local initiative.

Dame Irene Ward

Yes. If local initiative is forthcoming—which many people on the North-East Coast would welcome—would my hon. Friend be able to assist with finance in the way that I understand finance is made available to some other development councils?

Mr. Rodgers

As I undestand it, the only development council that has Government finance is that of Northern Ireland. It is true that certain other deveopment associations, such as the Scottish Development Council, have large incomes. The Scottish Development Council has £50,000, collected mainly from industrialists and local authorities. I cannot hold out any hope for my hon. Friend that Government assistance will be available for this purpose.

Mr. Hoy

Would the hon. Gentleman care to make it clear that the Scottish Council for the Development of Industry does not receive any subvention from the Government?

Mr. Rodgers

I am only too happy to support what the hon. Member says. All the development councils, including those on Merseyside, in Scotland and in Wales, are private enterprise associations and have no Government subvention whatsoever.