HC Deb 11 July 1968 vol 768 cc712-3
8. Mr. Michael Shaw

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether, in drawing up further national planning documents, he will have regard to representations made to him concerning the effect of Government policies upon smaller businesses.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Frederick Lee)

The Government are always ready to consider representations, whether in the context of national planning or otherwise, relating to the effect of its policies on small businesses.

Mr. Shaw

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many quarters there is strong feeling that the practical effect of Government policies has been to date very prejudiced against the interests of small businesses?

Mr. Lee

I do not think that that is so. Many of the services we offer are to help small businesses. For instance, there are the Export Promotion Service, the Ministry of Technology's Advisory Service, the work of the British Productivity Council, the Aston Small Business Centre, which we support and which provides educational consultancy and research assistance, and last month my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade launched a pilot scheme in Glasgow and Bristol to assist small businesses to employ consultants.

Dr. Gray

Will my right hon. Friend give particular attention to the effect development area policies have on small boat and shipbuilding firms in East Anglia?

Mr. Lee

I am aware of this problem and we will give attention to it.