HC Deb 14 July 1966 vol 731 cc1700-1
25. Mr. Hall-Davis

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to take further to publicise the new system of investment grants.

Mr. Jay

A booklet explaining the scheme in more detail will be published as soon as possible after the Bill has become law and this will be given wide publicity I intend also to announce in the autumn full details of the administration of the scheme. Application forms will be accompanied by guidance notes indicating how the forms are to be completed.

Mr. Hall-Davis

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that with the further intensification and indefinite prolongation of the credit squeeze, industrial concerns must know when they can expect investment grants to be paid if expenditure on new plant and machinery is not to be further heavily curtailed?

Mr. Jay

I agree that there is an obligation on us to make the details of this scheme plain as soon as we can, but we cannot do that until the Bill receives the Royal Assent, and that partly depends upon the Opposition as well as upon the Government.

Mr. Corfield

In view of the fact that the Minister is expecting about 1,000 applications a day, what provision is he making to deal with these, and what sort of delay does he expect between an application and its acceptance for grant?

Mr. Jay

I have been building up the organisation to do this job for the past six months. Its offices are dispersed in the way that I have already explained. We are confident that it will be able to cope with the task.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that industrial firms in development areas in Scotland are finding that the new system is worth about 50 per cent. less to them than the old system was? In the light of that, will he stop saying that the new system is more valuable than the old one?

Mr. Jay

No, Sir. The hon. Member is wholly wrong. I would refer him to the detailed Written Answer that I gave on 1st March.