HC Deb 11 December 1968 vol 775 cc417-8
42. Mr. Michael Shaw

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he will introduce legislation to give effect to the proposed hotel grant and loan scheme.

Mr. William Rodgers

As soon as possible after the Christmas Recess.

Mr. Shaw

Is not the Minister aware that the continuing delay in bringing forward this legislation, far from helping the industry is causing increased uncertainty, for is it not clear that action cannot be taken by the industry solely on the authority of a White Paper?

Mr. Rodgers

This is correct, and we fully appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point. We want this legislation as soon as possible. It is complicated, and we expect it to cover the new tourist organisations we are setting up.

Mr. Costain

Does the Minister appreciate that earlier proposals were made without regard to the needs of the industry and of hoteliers, and that his Department is now writing letters expressing views different from those expressed in the House? Will he, therefore, assure the House that he will take the industry into his confidence, and will also take its advice?

Mr. Rodgers

We have had consultations, and we will have more, but, having published the White Paper and my right hon. Friend having made a statement in the House three weeks ago, we believe it to be in the best interests of the industry that we should proceed as fast as we can to get the legislation.

Dr. Gray

Does my hon. Friend intend to tie his hotel grant and loan scheme to the scheme for classifying, registering and inspecting hotels so as to ensure that consumers get value for money?

Mr. Rodgers

This is not the present intention. A scheme such as my hon. Friend mentions is something that must be considered by the new tourist boards. Meanwhile, let us get on with the incen- tives, because I agree that they are needed.