HC Deb 01 December 1966 vol 737 cc605-6
27. Mr. Bob Brown

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, in view of the report of the Northern Economic Planning Council, Challenge of the changing North, to what extent it is his policy that the northern region should absorb part of the growing national population; if he will establish Tees-side as a national growth area rather than a regional growth area; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Albu

We recognise Tees-side's great growth potential and the rapid strides it has been making, but we must consider its suitability for the longer- term as part of the national review of these problems now in progress.

Mr. Brown

Is it not high time that we got away from the two-nation concept? Surely my hon. Friend accepts that to do this we must not merely stop the drift from the North but reverse it.

Mr. Albu

My hon. Friend must know that this has been the basis of the Government's policies since we came into office and we have made a great deal of progress towards it. I assure my hon. Friend that we shall not go back on this.