HC Deb 08 March 1960 vol 619 cc234-5
38. Mr. Willey

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on his visit to Sunderland.

Mr. J. Rodgers

While in Sunderland my right hon. Friend and I discussed employment problems with local authorities, employers and trade unionists, and visited the local Board of Trade estate as well as other industrial sites. As the hon. Member knows, Sunderland is to be a development district, and I hope it will benefit from the facilities available under the Local Employment Bill.

Mr. Willey

While we very much appreciate the visit of the President of the Board of Trade and the Parliamentary Secretary to Sunderland, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman is aware that at present the only effective initiative seems to be taken by the town council, and that, in view of the high incidence of unemployment, we feel entitled to expect some stronger and more effective action by the Board of Trade?

Mr. Rodgers

We welcome the appointment of a development officer by the local authority. May I point out to the hon. Gentleman that 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs are expected to accrue in the Sunderland area as a result of the extensions and new developments?

Mr. Chetwynd

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this very fleeting visit to the North-East by himself and his right hon. Friend is not regarded as satisfactory by many organisations concerned with finding additional employment in this area?

Mr. Rodgers

Perhaps future events may falsify what the hon. Gentleman has said.