HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 cc202-3
Q6. Mr. Ashley

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to North Staffordshire.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so, Sir.

Mr. Ashley

Will the Prime Minister consider making a visit to North Staffordshire where, although the unemployment rate is not particularly high, special problems are caused by the area's dependence on coal mining and the potteries, both of which are in process of being rapidly mechanised. In view of the local anxiety about future employment prospects, will the Prime Minister consider reassessing the issue of industrial development certificates to encourage the attraction of modern industry to North Staffordshire?

The Prime Minister

Yes, I would enjoy going to North Staffordshire. As I emphasised to the House last week, I believe in operating the i.d.c. policy flexibly, and it is desirable to do this.

Mr. Jennings

If the Prime Minister were to visit Staffordshire, would he consider visiting Burton-on-Trent, which is also in Staffordshire, where he would be given a right royal welcome? This would enable me to show him the condition of the River Trent in this Conservation Year and to ask him to help us to clean the river.

The Prime Minister

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for this suggestion. He might have added at the end that, after a great deal of hard work at Stoke-on-Trent and Burton, he would be willing to refresh me with some of the products of his area.