HC Deb 10 December 1964 vol 703 cc1809-10
19. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the need for light industry in small towns in the South-West; and what steps he is taking to encourage firms to move there.

Mr. Jay

I must concentrate first on getting new industry to the develop- ment districts, where the need is greatest. Other places, in Dorset and elsewhere, are, however, suggested to industrialists seeking sites in the South-West for projects which cannot go to a development district.

Mr. Digby

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Government's 15 per cent. surcharge has weighed particularly heavily on some of the industries we already have and it is therefore all the more necessary that he should pay attention? May I thank him for a comparatively sympathetic Answer?

Mr. Jay

Without applying the full development district treatment, it is possible to grant I.D.C.s in these areas more readily than one would in a really congested area.

Mr. du Cann

Will the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that ordinarily no I.D.C. would be refused in the sort of cases to which he has referred?

Mr. Jay

I should like to see a rather clearer definiton of "the sort of cases" before giving that assurance.