HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc229-30
34. Mr. Heffer

asked the Minister of Technology what steps are being taken in the Merseyside development district to develop and expand scientifically-based industries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Marsh

My right hon. Friend has no proposals of this kind for Merseyside at present, but we have these problems constantly in mind and will inform Parliament of specific proposals as they arise.

Mr. Heffer

Is my hon. Friend aware that his reply will be received with disappointment on Merseyside? Is he also aware that there is very great concern on Merseyside that the expanding developments in the technological industry are being siphoned away from Merseyside, and that we are being left with the minor, and to some extent the dying, parts of technological development?

Mr. Marsh

I would not accept my hon. Friend's last point. I think he would agree that the right way of dealing with this is by the system of regional planning introduced by this Government. The Ministry's regional organisation has recently been strengthened and is playing a full part on the regional boards. I think that any proposals made on that basis would certainly have the sympathetic consideration of the Ministry.