§ Mr. Frederick Lee
Action has been taken to deal with the problems arising from colliery closures by scheduling the relevant part of Northumberland as a Special Development Area in which exceptionally favourable terms for industrialists are made available. A more searching and detailed study of the economic prospects and potential of this area is in hand.
§ Mr. Lee
I am pleased to be able to tell my hon. Friend that the Northern Economic Planning Board hopes to complete its preliminary studies next month. There are now 3,600 jobs in prospect for males in the employment exchange areas covering most of my hon. Friend's constituency. We have had the recent news of the decision to set up a £24 million nylon plant at Cramlington, and this kind of development is very much to the point.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Is not my right hon. Friend aware that the Northern Region Economic Council has been studying this problem ever since it was initiated about three years ago? Is it still studying? When will the Council come to a decision about anything which will affect the position in the Northern Region?
§ Mr. Lee
I do not think that my right hon. Friend can have heard what I said. I talked about the Board, not the Council, making this survey. I know that my right hon. Friend, even with his experience, cannot remember a time when there was not this kind of trouble in the Northern Region. We are doing more to attract industry there than any other Government have ever attempted. At the moment the signs are that we are succeeding. I very much hope, along with my right hon. Friend, that in the next few months there will be an appreciable drop in unemployment levels there.
§ Dame Irene Ward
Will the right hon. Gentleman issue in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the recommendations made by the Northern Economic Planning Council and what action has been taken either for or against, with the dates on which the decisions have been taken? Then we should know in the North of England exactly where we stood, which we do not know at the moment.
§ Mr. Lee
I will do what I can to help the hon. Lady in that respect. All the recommendations were not made to the Government. Quite a number of them were on issues which the Council itself would take up. A number of the issues which were directed to the Government have either been completed or are in the course of completion.