§ 19. Mr. Bullard
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will facilitate the establishment of more industry in West Norfolk in view of the number of men likely to be seeking fresh employment as a result of the proposed partial closing down of the United States Air Force base at Sculthorpe.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
My right hon. Friend is prepared to grant industrial development certificates for suitable projects in the area.
§ Mr. Bullard
Will my hon. Friend please bear in mind that it may be more desirable to have developments in nearby towns than on the actual site of 222 applications that have been made, eight have been rejected. That will put the matter in proportion.
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
Is the Minister aware that if he applied the antidumping duties sooner, particularly in the case of textiles, industry might be in better shape?
§ Sir K. Joseph
I cannot accept that. We act as quickly as we possibly can. It always helps an industry if it will give us, where possible, advance notice of its thought of applying for a duty.
§ Following is the list:
§ the base and that people who are at present employed at the base could travel, for example, into King's Lynn, where much better facilities exist for the establishment of new industries than in the immediate neighbourhood of the base? Will he, therefore, consider the granting of industrial development certificates to industry in King's Lynn on the basis of the unemployment which is likely to be created by the closing down of Sculthorpe?
§ Mr. Macpherson
It would be reasonable to consider the closeness of the work to the individuals who will be displaced. My information is that a large proportion of them come from places closer to Sculthorpe than King's Lynn.
§ Mr. Hilton
I am pleased to hear that the Government are prepared to consider taking industry to that area, but will the hon. Gentleman realise that this is now a matter of some urgency? May I plead with him to take immediate action and not to wait until this large number of people become unemployed? The Government have recently become converted to the idea of planning and this is their opportunity to test it out. I hope that they will take immediate action.