HC Deb 27 July 1961 vol 645 cc591-2
26. Mr. D. Jones

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that Jacksons Industries, Limited, proposes to close its Luton factory, where at least 1,100 people are employed, many of them of long service, with a view to extending its factory or that of its associated company Parnells Limited, at Yate, Bristol; and whether, in view of the hardship which will be caused to the Luton employees, he will refuse an industrial development certificate for the Bristol extension.

Mr. Maudling

The application from Parnall (Yate) Limited for an industrial development certificate for the extension of its factory at Yate has been refused, in view of the employment position in the Bristol area.

Mr. Jones

Is the Minister aware that the intense opposition to this proposed move comes from the official trade union movement, and is concentrated on the fact that some employees have had over forty years' experience, and have built these firms up, and that this opposition is greater because of their fear about the level of diversification of industry there? Will he see the people of this area, and hear their case?

Mr. Maudling

In Luton the unemployment figure is only 0.5 per cent. and there are 500 registered outstanding vacancies. I would not agree with this firm going to Bristol, because of the shortage of labour there, but if it wanted to go to a development district where there was heavy unemployment that would be a different matter.