HC Deb 08 May 1969 vol 783 cc640-1
16. Mr. Gordon Campbell

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what action he plans to take concerning the Edinburgh area in the light of the report of the Hunt Committee.

Mr. Shore

I have nothing to add to my statement on 24th April.—[Vol. 782, c. 668–72.]

Mr. Campbell

Can the Government indicate where the boundary defining the Leith area will be? Will the Secretary of State visit Edinburgh to inform himself of the extraordinary anomaly and the distortions which are being caused by the present curious deliniation?

Mr. Shore

The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that I have already said that we shall be consulting the Scottish Planning Council about the boundaries of the new intermediate area.

Earl of Dalkeith

Is the generosity of the right hon. Gentleman confined to helping only those areas who do not vote Conservative?

Mr. Shore

If the hon Gentleman studied the unemployment figures for the Edinburgh area he would realise that although there has been some deterioration in the whole of the Edinburgh area in the last two years, the deterioration is much more marked in the Leith area. It is on this basis that we have said that Leith should be included in the intermediate area.

Mr. William Hamilton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the official policy of the Opposition is a policy of growth points? Does he realise that this would mean a considerable diminution in the development area status of Scotland? Will he try to get out of the Opposition what growth points they mean to put into effect in Scotland?

Mr. Shore

There are very many questions about development area and regional policy which I should like to ask the Opposition—both back benchers and the Front Benchers. Doubtless an opportunity will be found to debate these matters.