HC Deb 19 November 1963 vol 684 cc800-1
Q2. Mr. Jay

asked the Prime Minister what responsibilities the Lord President of the Council now retains for industrial development on the North-East Coast.

The Prime Minister

With the publication of the White Paper on the North-East my noble Friend's special responsibilities for the North-East are concluded. Carrying out the proposals in the White Paper will be the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development.

Mr. Jay

While I welcome that decision, may I ask the Prime Minister to explain why if it was right to introduce the noble Lord into the activities a year ago, it is right to push him out now?

The Prime Minister

Because, I tell the right hon. Gentleman, there was a special problem, which we thought ought to be studied. I think that my noble Friend's visit to the North-East was much appreciated there, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has found his report extremely useful.

Dame Irene Ward

Will my right hon. Friend kindly convey to the noble Lord our appreciation in the North-East of what he has done? Will my right hon. Friend also convey our appreciation of the breadth of the Report and the fact that it is the opinion of the North that when it is implemented the North-East will be in a much better position?

The Prime Minister

I will certainly convey that to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Popplewell

In view of the very lukewarm reception, to say the least, which the proposals for dealing with the North as outlined in the White Paper have received, will the Prime Minister say who will be the responsible Minister to answer Questions about north-west Durham, Cumberland and Westmorland and also the northern part of Northumberland, which is not included in the proposals in the White Paper?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend has a responsibility which covers the whole nation, and Questions should be put to him.