HC Deb 14 June 1967 vol 748 cc550-1
35. Mr. Stodart

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will reconsider the exclusion of Leith Docks from the development area; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Darling

The boundaries of the development areas are regularly reconsidered, but we have no plans for altering the present boundaries.

Mr. Stodart

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why it was that the Minister of State for Scotland stated the other day that consideration was to be given to the inclusion of Leith Docks in the development area? Why cannot this be done? Will the right hon. Gentleman now consider not only Leith Docks but also Edinburgh and Leith as well?

Mr. Darling

There are two answers to that. The first is that the boundaries of development areas are regularly reconsidered. The second is that I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman has so little regard for the other areas of Scotland where there is heavy unemployment and where industrial development is far more greatly needed than in the Edinburgh area.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Does not the right hon. Gentleman recognise that the seven-year guarantee given with the regional employment premium is severely curtailing the power of the Board of Trade to re-schedule development areas?

Mr. Darling

That is another question and we will consider it.

Mr. Clark Hutchison

Are the boundaries being considered now or not?

Mr. Darling

I said that they are always being reconsidered. Obviously there probably will be changes in the boundaries in the course of time, but this is not the time to alter the present boundaries.

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