HC Deb 23 April 1964 vol 693 c1498
29. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development whether, in his regional studies, special consideration will be given to so called market towns, many of which have lost or are losing their markets and other economic activities on which they depended, in some cases the barracks of the county regiment, owing to amalgamations; and what plan, he has to re-establish the prosperity of these towns.

The Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development and President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Edward Heath)

Yes, sir. As I explained in answer to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Horncastle (Sir J. Maitland) on 12th March, the prosperity of these towns depends on the economic circumstances of the areas surrounding them and plans for their future development will be considered in that context.

Mr. Digby

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Report on the South-East is very disappointing in this respect? Will he endeavour to ensure that the other reports pay more attention to this problem and less to the spread of suburbia, or whatever one cares to call it?

Mr. Health

The Report on the South-East was concerned, in particular, with the great growth in population and the problems of London. But the Joint Committee on the economy of the South-West is considering the scope of the studies, in economic development which it wishes to carry out and which we have offered to support.