HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 c879
10. Mr. Goronwy Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what use he has made of his oversight powers for the purpose of securing a new tenant for the Government-built factory at Penygroes, Caernarvonshire.

Mr. Peter Thomas

The Department of Trade and Industry is making every possible effort to secure a new tenant. These efforts have my full support.

Mr. Roberts

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman enlarge a little on the strong efforts he is making to secure a new tenant for this factory? It would seem that very little has been done. Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the unemployment figure for the Caernarvonshire area has increased to 10 per cent., or 11 per cent. of the insured population, and that this district, which is supposed to be served by this factory, is particularly hard hit? Would he and his Department show a little more energy in pressing the claims of this factory and this district for employment?

Mr. Thomas

Yes, I am fully aware of the unemployment figures. I am fully aware of the problems of the Nantlle Valley and the fact that Penygroes was dependent very much on this factory, which was built in 1959, and the tenant of which went out of production in 1969. I am fully aware of the difficulties there are in attracting suitable tenants for this factory. The position is that nearly £20,000 is being spent by the Department of Trade and Industry on repairing and modernising this factory, and this work should be completed next month, when this factory should be a very attractive factory to a suitable tenant.