HC Deb 29 November 1960 vol 631 cc185-6
18. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state his policy towards the building of advance factories in areas of high unemployment.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Niall Macpherson)

Experience has shown that industrialists usually prefer to have factories built to suit their requirements. However, the Government accept that there may be some places where the existence of immediately available factory space may be decisive in attracting industry, and we have therefore, decided, as my right hon. Friend recently announced, to provide a further limited amount of advance factory space in England, Scotland and Wales.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that this policy will be welcomed in many areas of high employment, but would he go a step further and consider enabling local authorities and corporations to take all steps short of supplying the actual factory itself, that is, to purchase the land and get the plans drafted, because that would considerably reduce a good deal of the delay?

Mr. Macpherson

I am not certain that, as the law stands, there are not technical objections to the hon. Gentleman's suggestion, but I will certainly look into it.