§ 1. Mr. Haseldine
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he approved the campaign inaugurated by the North-East Development Council to attract Yorkshire firms to the North-East Development Area.
§ 15. Mr. Ford
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he is aware that Government aid is being used as an inducement to attract industrial development away from the West Riding, where diversification is urgently required; and if he will take steps to discourage such movements until after the publication of the Hunt Committee Report.
§ 25. Mr. David Watkins
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will give an assurance that it remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government to encourage expansion in the North-East and other development areas, in view of the availability of labour and sites there, to which their attention has been drawn by the North-East Development Council.
§ The Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Mr. Peter Shore)
I would refer my hon. Friends to the Answer I gave to similar Questions on 16th and 17th May.—[Vol. 764, c. 271, 301.]
§ Mr. Haseldine
Is my right hon. Friend aware that his reply was well received in Yorkshire and Humberside? But will he take all possible steps, along with his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and other Ministers, to ensure that nothing further is done to aggravate the situation which results in unfair competition from development areas on areas such as Yorkshire and Humberside? Will he further give an undertaking that speedy action will be taken as soon as the Hunt Committee reports?
§ Mr. Shore
I thank my hon. Friend for his opening remarks. He will be aware that we have urged upon Sir Joseph Hunt the need to report as quickly as possible on the matters which have been put to the Committee. I hope to receive this Report in the autumn. My hon. Friend will also be aware that I deprecate any unnecessary rivalry and competition between the regions.
§ Mr. Watkins
Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the North-East Development Council will not in any way be penalised in its efforts towards 842 solving the chronic unemployment problems of the development areas in the North-East?
§ Mr. Higgins
Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that the overall figures for wholly unemployed, seasonably adjusted, published today continue to show an increase, and does this give him cause for concern? Can he tell us how the overall figures compare with those for the intermediate areas?