HC Deb 20 May 1963 vol 678 cc27-8
37. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister without Portfolio what action he is taking to make better known the facilities available to industrialists in the areas of high unemployment.

38. Mr. Ross

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether he has completed his study of publicity for the development districts.

The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. W. F. Deedes)

At my request, the Central Office of Information has commissioned S. H. Benson, Limited, to assist with professional advice in the study which I have arranged of means by which publicity for the development districts might be fostered. It will review the present publicity arrangements in conjunction with the organisations concerned, and we shall then consider what further action should be taken.

Dame Irene Ward

I thank my right hon. Friend for that valuable piece of information. How long does he think it will be before we shall have this reappraisal and some action on the matter, which is very urgent?

Mr. Deedes

I have already had a preliminary report. I hope that the Main report will be done in a matter of, possibly, weeks. We shall not have any avoidable waste of time.

Mr. Ross

We are obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for what he has done and we welcome that he has taken up a suggestion first made from this side of the House that something more could be done about publicity, particularly overseas. When the review is completed, will it be made public, and shall we have an opportunity to discuss it further with him?

Mr. Deedes

I should like to look at the report first. I hope that it will be a very candid report. When I have seen the terms of it, I shall decide whether to publish it.

Mr. R. W. Elliot

In his review, will my right hon. Friend take due note of an article appearing in today's Newcastle Journal entitled "Trading Estates are the Unsung Success Story of the North", and will he note particularly the report in that article of a recent statement by the chairman of the Industrial Estates Management Corporation for England, Mr. Sadler Forster, in which he said that a very biassed and unbalanced picture of the North-East had been presented and had resulted in a false impression of unrelieved gloom being given to the rest of the country?

Mr. Deedes

That is precisely the sort of problem I have in mind, and it is what we shall try to remedy.

Mr. Shinwell

Why have the Government taken so long to undertake this vital task? What has the Minister done personally to bring to the notice of industrialists either in this country or abroad the very useful facilities available in my constituency and in County Durham?

Mr. Deedes

The Board of Trade has already done a great deal overseas with publications to bring to the notice of overseas people what is available in these districts. We now want to look at the whole picture from the point of view of domestic as well as overseas manufacturers.

Forward to