HC Deb 26 November 1964 vol 702 cc1454-5
19. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what progress he is making with the setting up of small economic development committees in particular sectors of industry or in the regions.

Mr. Crosland

Economic development committees have already been set up in nine industries and it is hoped to establish them in other industries as rapidly as possible. My right hon. Friend proposes to discuss a programme for future expansion of this work with the National Economic Development Council on 2nd December.

Mr. Lewis

As it has been suggested that bankers will be represented on the N.E.D.C. itself, can the hon. Gentleman say whether they will be represented on the small economic development committees of industries? Can the hon. Gentleman also say why the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not be a member of the N.E.D.C.? It seems to us on this side of the House highly important that the right hon. Gentleman should be on the Council in order to deal with the financial situation.

Mr. Crosland

The second part of the hon. Member's supplementary question relates to the central National Economic Development Council whereas the Question relates to what are known as the "Little Neddies". There is a Question later on the Order Paper on the N.E.D.C. itself. The question whether bankers will be appointed or not to economic development committees for particular industries is a matter for consultation and discussion when any new committees are set up.

Mr. Heath

What will be the relationship between the "Little Neddies" and the Board of Trade? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the original arrangement was that the official representatives on the "Little Neddies" would come from the Board of Trade? Does that still remain the arrangement or will they come from the Department of Economic Affairs? If so, how will the Board of Trade be represented?

Mr. Crosland

They will come from both the Department of Economic Affairs and the Board of Trade, or from the sponsoring Ministry if that happens to be one other than the Board of Trade.