§ 23. Mr. Heffer
asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the continuing high level of unemployment in the Merseyside area, what steps are being taken to introduce new industries into the area; and what proposals he has for the introduction and development 599 of new publicly-owned scientifically-based industries in the area.
§ Mr. Jay
The rate of unemployment on Merseyside in January was the lowest for that month in the last five years. During this time a considerable amount of new industry entered the area. I shall encourage more to do so, whether publicly-owned or otherwise. Two of the factories in the new programme of publicly-owned advance factories will be on Merseyside.
§ Mr. Heffer
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the statement that unemployment on Merseyside has been the lowest for the last five years will be very welcome on Merseyside, particularly in view of the fact that the basic reason for high unemployment on Merseyside has been the policies pursued by the Tory Government?
§ Mr. Heffer
On the other hand, is my right hon. Friend prepared to indicate whether any steps are being taken for consultations with the Ministry of Overseas Development with a view to exports going from Merseyside to the under-developed areas?
§ Mr. Tilney
Will the President of the Board of Trade draw to the attention of industry generally that, despite the fact that British taxpayers' money is building them more industrial premises, at the end of last year over one million square feet of industrial premises were vacant on Merseyside?