HC Deb 10 May 1960 vol 623 cc180-1
13 and 14. Mr. Grey

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what effect the new financial restrictions will have on the number of industrial projects he expects to be started in the county of Durham during the next twelve months;

(2) in view of the new financial restrictions imposed by the Government, what special measures he proposes to take to ensure continuance of his plans to provide in the County of Durham over 2,500,000 square feet of new factory space, and over 4,000 new jobs.

Mr. J. Rodgers

There is no evidence that the recently announced credit controls will adversely affect the industrial projects which are in hand or in prospect for the administrative County of Durham. According to the firms concerned, these should provide at lease 10,000 new jobs during the next few years.

Mr. Grey

I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary is not trying to fob us off with that reply. May I ask whether he has had consultations with the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning the possible insulating of the whole of the north-east area from the full effects of the credit squeeze, because he knows as well as anyone that the real intention behind the credit squeeze is to do exactly the opposite of what he says he intends to do? Is he aware of the urgency of the need for such consultations before matters get worse? Is he aware that, even on the present basis, we understand that there is every likelihood that within the next fourteen years 27,500 people will leave the County of Durham in search of work— and that is quite a lot of people? Does he realise that, if he has not had these consultations already, the reply he has given is a complete mockery?

Mr. Rodgers

I am aware of the serious situation in the north-east of England. I should point out that when my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced the recent credit controls he said that these, together with the Budget, would act as a check on the tendencies making for overstrain in the economy and would not prevent the continuance of a sound and steady expansion within the resources of the country. We are trying to divert more to the export field rather than to over-stimulate home demand.