HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 cc920-1
39. Mr. James Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has had from the Lanarkshire Development Council for a meeting to discuss unemployment in the county; what reply he has sent; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Anthony Grant

The Lanarkshire Development Corporation has asked me to receive a deputation. Arrangements are being made for a deputation to be received in the near future.

Mr. Hamilton

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Is he aware that the reply that he sent to the Lanarkshire Development Council was not greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm? As in the county of Lanark 7.9 per cent. of the insurable population is unemployed, which figure does not include school leavers who have not been taken care of, will the hon. Gentleman now assure us that he will meet the premier Development Council as quickly as possible to try to give the Council an insight into what the Government's policy is for solving this very serious problem?

Mr. Grant

I am looking forward to meeting the Council and to judging its degree of enthusiasm or otherwise. I will try to arrange a meeting as soon as possible. No doubt all these matters can be discussed. At the same time we can reflect that there has been a marked improvement in I.D.C. approvals and a substantial increase in applications for local employment assistance and other financial assistance recently.

Dame Irene Ward

As I was in very early consultation with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this very important matter, may I have an assurance that Members of Parliament of both parties will be on the deputation so that we can have a balanced consideration of this issue?

Mr. Grant

I shall always be delighted to see my hon. Friend at any time mutually convenient to us, but this meeting relates to Lanarkshire.

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