HC Deb 10 May 1962 vol 659 cc631-2
Q3. Mr. Ginsburg

asked the Prime Minister what action has been taken to co-ordinate the activities of the several departments concerned in the execution of the Government's distribution of industry policy.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

Co-ordination is achieved through regular and frequent consultation between the Departments concerned.

Mr. Ginsburg

Is not that an extremely complacent reply? Is there not urgent need for a Government policy for the distribution of industry? Is it not a fact that some areas are starved of industry while in other areas too much industry is coming in? Finally, is it not a fact that the Local Employment Act, while it is a beneficial Measure in some respects, is totally inadequate as a measure for dealing with distribution of industry policy?

The Prime Minister

I do not see how co-ordination can be achieved except by consultation between Departments. As regards the working of the Act, I think that on the whole it has been very satisfactory in carrying out the purpose for which it was intended.

Mr. Steele

Would the Prime Minister examine the replies made this afternoon by the President of the Board of Trade in connection with employment and industry in Scotland, because the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister of Power are working at cross purposes? The Minister of Power is increasing the price of coal in an area of high unemployment. The President of the Board of Trade is trying to induce industry to go there.

The Prime Minister

I will certainly study those replies, but this question deals with the location of industry and the issue of industrial development certificates under the Act.