HC Deb 07 July 1970 vol 803 cc490-1
Q6 Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Prime Minister (1) which Minister has responsibility for regional planning and development area policy;

(2) which Minister has been given general responsibility for the campaign against pollution.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government is responsible for regional strategy as a whole, and for the Regional Economic Planning Councils, while my right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology remains directly responsible for the industrial aspects of regional policy. Normal arrangements have been made to ensure the necessary inter-Departmental co-ordination both on regional matters and on pollution pending the review of Ministerial responsibilities in this field.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is not the Prime Minister aware of the deep and understandable anxiety about the matter in the regions? Is he satisfied that we shall now have a voice in the regions to withstand the pressure upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer for promised cuts in expenditure in development areas?

The Prime Minister

It is because I recognise the deep concern in the regions about this that I am determined to get the machinery right.

Mr. Michael Foot

Is the Prime Minister aware that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government has taken his opposition to instant government so literally that he does not even turn up in the House at all?

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

With regard to pollution, does not my right hon. Friend agree that what is important is that every Government Department should be conscious of the need to guard against it wherever possible?

The Prime Minister

I agree.