HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1764-5
28. Mr. Barnett

asked the President of the Board of Trade what considerations determine the scheduling of an area as a development district.

Mr. Erroll

The considerations, laid down in the Local Employment Act, 1960, are that the Board of Trade should be satisfied that a high rate of unemployment exists, or is to be expected within such a period that it is expedient to exercise the powers of the Act, and that it is likely to persist.

Mr. Barnett

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that the average wage level in the South-West, which is 25s. 6d. below the average level for England and Wales, is a consideration which should be taken into account, since new industry in the area would tend to force up wages? Does he not further admit the fact that the situation exists and that, as long as it exists, London will act as a magnet, particularly to young people, when there are so few opportunities of employment in the South-West?

Mr. Erroll

Comparable wage levels are not one of the factors which I take into account in considering what localities should be designated as development districts.