HC Deb 20 July 1971 vol 821 cc1254-5
Q4. Mr. Kaufman

asked the Prime Minister whether he has now received a memorandum from the North-West Industrial Development Association requesting a meeting to discuss intermediate area status.

The Prime Minister

I received last Saturday a memorandum, which I am now considering, setting out the Association's views on the industrial and environmental problems of the North-West Region.

Mr. Kaufman

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he will find in the memorandum that unemployment in the North-West, including the city of Manchester, has deteriorated in the past year worse than almost any other region in the country, and that the outlook for 4,500 Manchester school leavers is grim? Will he spare a little time from his crowded programme to meet the North-West Development Association and discuss with the Association its request for intermediate area status in view of the deterioration of the situation in the North-West relative to the rest of the country?

The Prime Minister

It would only be respectful of me first to study the memorandum.

Mr. Churchill

Is my right hon. Friend aware—[HON. MEMBERS : "Reading."]—how much Stretford and the Greater Manchester area welcome the measures announced yesterday by his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which will give a tremendous boost to all the industrial areas? Further, is he aware how much benefit will accrue, in the long term, from the successful conclusion of negotiations for Britain to become a member of a home market of 300 million and of the implications that this will have for the industrial areas of Britain?

The Prime Minister

I agree that both these matters are of vital importance to Manchester and the surrounding areas.