HC Deb 09 April 1963 vol 675 cc1092-3
Q7. Mr. Milne

asked the Prime Minister what further proposals for the North-East he will implement during 1963–64.

The Prime Minister

In reply to the hon. Member and others on 5th March I said that further decisions would be announced shortly. The hon. Member will know the new benefits for areas of unemployment in the North-East, in common with other development districts, announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech. He will also know of the provision of finance for deepening the Lackenby Dock on Tees-side.

Mr. Milne

While I welcome the announcements about the siting of advance factories in my constituency and other parts of the North-East, may I ask whether the Prime Minister is aware that this is merely tinkering with the problem and that we are still awaiting the advance factory which we were promised more than a year ago and that the two advance factories in my constituency, when provided towards the end of 1964, will give us only 100 more jobs, totally inadequate to the circumstances?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member will appreciate that the plans outlined in the Budget go far beyond advance factories.

Mr. P. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that reasonable people have wholeheartedly welcomed what has been done by the Chancellor? But, having said that, there is one further thing which needs to be carried out if the North-East is to be treated as a region as a whole, which has been the request to the Government all along, and that is to schedule the whole of the North-East.

The Prime Minister

The Ministers have stated the Government's view and their considerations of these problems.

Mr. Pentland

Is the Prime Minister aware that the measures which have been proposed in the Budget in no way solve the problem of basic unemployment in the North-East? In view of the fact that in addition to the thousands of people who are already unemployed many thousands more in employment are living in a perpetual state of anxiety about the future, will the right hon. Gentleman tell us when this plan will come forward which will break through the economic stagnation which exists and bring an upsurge in industrial activity in the region?

The Prime Minister

Apart from the re-expansion of the economy as a whole, I think there is general agreement that in areas such as the North-East special measures need to be taken for the modernisation and diversification of industry if there is to be the situation for which the hon. Gentleman and we all hope. It is this aspect of this plan which is most important.