HC Deb 02 May 1967 vol 746 cc303-4
Q3. Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that areas whose population is increasing with exceptional rapidity due to town expansion schemes, are placed at a disadvantage in attracting industry due to Treasury, Board of Trade and Ministry of Economic Affairs policies, as well as the investment programmes of certain nationalised undertakings, which indiscriminately favour development districts; and if, while recognising the needs of the latter, he will direct Ministers not to neglect the former.

The Prime Minister

Although the development areas need to attract industry remains paramount, the requirements of the town expansion schemes are certainly not neglected. The Ministries concerned keep a close watch on their employment needs, which are taken fully into account in the operation of the industrial development certificate control.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the Prime Minister aware that in some expansion towns, especially in East Anglia, new houses are standing empty and young families are finding it very hard to make ends meet? Is not this a result of lack of coordination, whereby homes and population continue to go up but investment, whether private or public, in industry or amenities is not keeping pace?

The Prime Minister

I do not accept the suggestion about lack of coordination. My information is that the provision of jobs has been roughly in balance with the house-building programme. There are, I believe, 15 projects in the area the hon. Gentleman has in mind, but, certainly, if he has any specific problems about this, and will let me know, I will see that they are looked into.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

Can my right hon. Friend give any assurance that dominant in the mind of the Government in this respect will be the needs of Swindon?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. My answer referred to all towns and town expansions.

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