HC Deb 13 November 1962 vol 667 c193
Q3. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint one Minister, already holding Departmental responsibility, to be responsible for reducing unemployment in the development districts.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. This important matter involves many aspects of national policy in which a number of Ministers are concerned. These Ministers are working in the closest co-operation.

Mr. Williams

I accept that Ministers are working in close co-operation, but will my right hon. Friend recognise the parallel with Central African affairs where it was found necessary to bring together under one very senior Minister direct and final responsibility? Is he aware that, in the realm of providing employment for the development districts, there is often a conflict of interest between separate Ministries and that, if it could be known that one Minister was primarily responsible for co-ordinating all that is done, this would help the work of the Ministries and assist hon. Members when they wish to put a point of view?

The Prime Minister

I quite understand my hon. Friend's anxieties but the parallel which he suggests is not a real one. In the case of Central Africa the responsibilities previously with the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonial Secretary were removed altogether from them and placed under another Minister.