HC Deb 06 November 1968 vol 772 c870
15. Dr. John Dunwoody

asked the President of the Board of Trade what further measures he intends to take to provide employment in those development areas especially subject to seasonal unemployment.

Mr. Dell

I have no further measures in mind. But a wide range of assistance is already available.

Dr. Dunwoody

Does my hon. Friend agree that last winter additional assistance went into the South-West development area at between two and three times the rate to any other areas, and that as unemployment is higher than it was last year, both absolutely and in comparison with those other areas, it is illogical and unfair that the South-West has been completely left out of the £10 million programme for winter works this winter?

Mr. Dell

The Government have had to take account of the high figures of unemployment in other development areas. Nevertheless, considerable assistance is available to the South-West, among which are the new measures for tourism of which my hon. Friend is aware.

Mr. Waddington

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is very considerable concern that a great deal too much money, particularly in the way of Regional Employment Premium, is already being spent in the development areas and that the money does nothing whatsoever to bring new industry into the areas or reduce the level of unemployment?

Mr. Dell

I am afraid that I disagree with the hon. Gentleman's interpretation of the situation. In my judgment, the Regional Employment Premium assists both by encouraging new firms to come into the development areas and by making those which are already there more competitive and thus more capable of providing employment.