HC Deb 22 April 1971 vol 815 c1361
Q5. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to West Lothian.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so.

Mr. Dalyell

Would not a decision to extend R.E.P. beyond the mid-1970s, with its effect on investment expectations, be about the most helpful thing which the Government could do for the development areas?

The Prime Minister

I am sorry to differ from the hon. Gentleman, whose intentions, I know, are good. After all, his own Government were intending to bring R.E.P. to an end in 1974. That was announced by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer when he introduced it. There is no point in the hon. Member for Willesden, East (Mr. Freeson) shaking his head. He had better read the report of the debate.

The criticism always made of R.E.P. is that it is given indiscriminately to everybody already in an area and does not concentrate on inducing new investment from firms outside the area. The purpose of regional development must be to bring new investment into an area, particularly Scotland.

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