§ Mr. J. Rodgers
I am aware of the decline in coal shipments from the North-East. The Board of Trade will continue to encourage industrial development in those places where, for whatever the reason, the local unemployment problem justifies this.
§ Mr. Owen
This serious problem is a reflection of the general contraction in the coal-mining industry. Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the collier fleet has declined by 75 vessels over recent years and that the members are seeking on-shore employments? This accumulated evidence should speed him to recognise the need for priority in the provision of industry on the North-East Coast.
§ Mr. Rodgers
I sympathise with some of the remarks of the hon. Gentleman. He will be aware that Seaham is included in one of the development districts.
§ Mr. Marquand
Will the hon. Gentleman remember when considering this problem that Middlesbrough seamen as well as persons living further up the North-East Coast are involved? Will he look at that aspect?