HC Deb 13 July 1970 vol 803 cc1115-6
1. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Technology what plans he has regarding the level of Government financial assistance to private industry.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Technology (Sir John Eden)

We are reviewing the whole field of assistance to private industry.

Mr. Hamilton

Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that the greater the uncertainty in this matter the greater the damage which will be done to development areas? Since most of these firms contributed generously to the Tory Party funds, is not this a squalid way of treating them?

Sir J. Eden

I agree that uncertainty is unsettling. We will speed this up as fast as we possibly can, but this review must be completed first.

Mr. Hordern

While I accept that it is the responsibility of the Government to provide assistance, particularly to areas where there is heavy unemployment, may I ask my hon. Friend whether he agrees that this assistance should not be provided by the I.R.C.? Would he also accept that that body should be abolished without delay?

Sir J. Eden

These are all matters for our review.

Mr. Benn

Will the Minister give the House an assurance that existing projects into which commitments have been entered will not be affected by the present review?

Sir J. Eden