§ Mr. Speaker
Before calling upon the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) to move the Motion, I should inform the House that I have selected the Amendment in the names of the Prime Minister and his right hon. Friends.
§ 4.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Roy Mason (Barnsley)
I beg to moveThat this House, disturbed that the Yorkshire and Humberside Region has suffered increased unemployment and loss of job prospects in the last two years, deeply concerned at the worsening structural employment in the Region created by rationalisation of its staple industries of coal, steel, textiles, engineering, ports and docks, as well as the associated environmental problems, draws attention to the fact that earnings, hours worked and employment in the growth industries are tending to fall behind levels in other Regions, including growth of new technologically based industry; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to undertake an urgent reappraisal of its measures to give to its people greater faith in a more prosperous future.This is possibly the first time, certainly in my 20 years of parliamentary life, that we have had the opportunity of debating the problems of Yorkshire and Humberside.
This debate is due entirely to the Opposition having given up one day of their Supply days, therefore giving both sides and all the Yorkshire Members of Parliament the right and chance to highlight unemployment and industrial difficulties in their districts.
Yorkshire and Humberside have had a genuine grievance about regional development for some years. For some time we have witnessed the vortex of the South and South-East sucking in manpower, materials and finance, and gradually denuding the northern areas of professional and skilled manpower. To offset this economic imbalance, development districts and then development areas were created not in Yorkshire and Humberside, but in Scotland, the North-East. Wales and other parts of the country. 54 thereby exacerbating the persistent problem of the Yorkshire region—that what moveable industry existed was by-passing Yorkshire, and manpower migration continued, particularly among the non manual labour and professional classes.
The West Riding County Council conducted a survey which showed that 60,000 people left the area between 1961 and 1971, whilst just a short time prior to the survey Board of Trade figures showed that between 1945 and 1965, a span of 20 years, the movement of manufacturing industry into the region created only24,500 new jobs—about 1,200 a year This was only a trickle of what was required. All of us know that one pit closure in Yorkshire can create a job loss of at least 1,000. Even now, since intermediate status has been granted, the Yorkshire and Humberside Economic Planning Council has stated that the number of industrial development certificates being issued shows that the inflow is still terribly insufficient to replace the job losses which have occurred and are still occurring.
We all recognise that some areas were much worse than Yorkshire and that their needs were much more urgent and greater. But the problems which created their situation are now very much evident in our region. The five main groups of industries that have traditionally sustained a large proportion of the employment in the region—coal mining, steel, textiles, clothing and footwear, and construction—have all declined rapidly in recent years. Four of them—coal mining, steel, textiles and construction—have lost 101,000 jobs in the last five years, while the distributive trades have lost 26,000 jobs. This is a total of 127,000 jobs lost in five years, and unfortunately the trend is continuing.
The Yorkshire and Humberside Economic Planning Council concluded only last March that up to 1975 there would be a further decline in coal mining of 30,000 to 35,000 jobs, that steel rationalisation by the British Steel Corporation would mean a considerable loss of jobs in Sheffield, Scunthorpe and Rotherham, and that at least 3,500 jobs would be lost to Scunthorpe as a result of the Anchor scheme developments. This dramatic gap between job loss and job creation is still large and as yet there is no sign that it is being bridged.
55 All this has been much aggravated during the last two years. Unemployment has soared to the highest figure in post-war years in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. In June, 1970, the figure for wholly unemployed men was 44,814; in November, 1971, it had risen to 70,046; in February, 1972, it had risen to 76,237, and as recently as April it was still at 75,433, a 70 per cent. increase in male unemployment. For wholly unemployed women, the figure in June, 1970, was 5,556; in November, 1971, it had risen to 9,701; in February last it was 10,258 and in April it was 11,402; an increase in female unemployment of 105 per cent.
Within these figures some of our towns are suffering chronic unemployment. Although I have taken travel-to-work areas, one must recognise that some of the spots within the areas have greater percentages than those I am about to reveal. In Bradford, the unemployment rate is 6 per cent., in Castleford 6.1 per cent., in Doncaster 7.5 per cent., in Barnsley 7.8 per cent., in Hull 8.1 per cent., in Mexborough 9.8 per cent, and in Hemsworth 12.8 per cent.
§ Mr. John Wilkinson (Bradford, West)
Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that these are figures of male unemployment?
§ Mr. Mason
The figures given are of the wholly unemployed for the travel-to-work areas in the towns and districts I have mentioned. The full list will be revealed to the hon. Gentleman, if he wishes to see it, if he studies HANSARD of last Wednesday. It was given in reply to a Written Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Goole (Dr. Marshall).
Why has this situation come about? Why is it that the unemployment figures are so high? I can give the answer in one sentence. It is because under this Government business confidence has been shattered and industrial investment has slumped. The Prime Minister and the Government, dogmatic, uncaring, adopting a ruthless attitude, heedless of other opinions, rejected all our planned aid to the regions, with "Stand on your own two feet" as their criterion. Their creed was, "Stop aid, introduce the liquidator, pick up the bits, besmirch industry".
56 They stopped investment grants; they abolished the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation; the National Board for Prices and Incomes was killed stone dead; they cut out the core of the Industrial Expansion Act and cut public expenditure in the nationalised industries. All price restraint ceased and prices started to soar. Because of this, business and industrial confidence was shattered in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.
One of the main results of the price inflation was the staggering increase in the first half of 1971 of 10.4 per cent, in prices, nearly twice as high as in early 1970 and the highest rate for 30 years. As a consequence, wages chased prices, industries began to shed labour, morale in the regions sank to its lowest ebb, there was no planned expansion and unemployment ran out of control, like a snowball going downhill, gathering momentum and growing larger in size. It brought the peak of unemployment in Yorkshire and Humberside to 76,000 men and nearly 11,500 women—increases of 70 per cent and 105 per cent, respectively.
School leavers, too, are being hit hard. Almost every town in the region is finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs for young people. One typical case is that of Sheffield, where 6,000 school leavers are expected on the labour market next month, with only 1,300 jobs available. The city's careers office has stated that unemployment has doubled in the last 12 months and is now five times as high as it was in 1970. In Yorkshire and Humberside, young people now have an only one in three chance of getting a job at all, and these figures are worse than the national figures of 39 jobs available for every 100 unemployed young people.
It is the job of the Government to create the climate for our regions to grow and in that they have clearly failed. Now, of course, we have a panic reaction to set it right. What a price after two years! We already feel—and certainly business and investors feel—that the Government have set the nation back five years, and every financial and business commentator in every serious newspaper is stating that devaluation is now beginning to rear its head again.
What has been offered to Yorkshire and Humberside in this panic reaction? I think that there are some credits—the 57 house improvement scheme, slum clearance and the dereliction grants. They are all necessarily interlinked to better the environment and to create jobs. Secondly, the region has been granted intermediate status and this is to be followed by the Industry Bill.
Part, therefore, of the strategy required to brighten up our regions, improve the environment, halt dilapidation and improve the industrial structure has now begun. But we want other evidence from the Government that within this new strategy Yorkshire and Humberside will not be overlooked and by-passed and that job creation will be recognised as of paramount importance. We must still bear in mind that in some of our region's main industries the demand for labour will decline, creating further job shortages, both in numbers and in variety. This decline of our major industries is still the most serious problem. Secondly, migration has kept our unemployment figures lower than they would have been otherwise, and this, with the increase in the number of children staying on at school, has masked the true and rather grimmer situation.
Thirdly, the national supply of mobile industry is limited. We have been starved of the national financial inducements granted to encourage mobile industry in the past. Because we still have development status versus intermediate status, this starvation is likely to continue. Fourthly, no new towns are envisaged in our region. We have to recognise what an effect the building of a new town has upon the creation of jobs in other regions and the spin off which such a development produces.
Fifthly, the region has a low proportion of its employment in public administration so there is scope for the introduction of more offices, Government Departments and nationalised industries. Equally, there are other opportunities for industries in the region to take a greater share of Government contracts. What is most disturbing in Yorkshire and Humberside is the picture revealed by the analysis of the abstract of regional statistics for 1971. Over the earnings spectrum Yorkshire and Humberside in 1970 produced earnings well below other regions with a comparable industrial make-up.
The wages were the lowest in the country apart from East Anglia and the 58 South-West. In the same year 92.1 per cent of adult employees earned less than £24 per week. Only in East Anglia was I here a higher percentage and that was by only 1 per cent. The average hourly earnings in the region are the lowest in the country other than agricultural East Anglia and are even lower than in Scotland. Yorkshire and Humberside has the lowest income per week and the lowest income per household of any region in England.
This reveals that we have what is virtually a static economy with no growth being evident. We compare badly in earnings and purchasing power per family with all other regions. This emphasises our claim that Yorkshire and Humberside has in real terms been a relatively silent sufferer while other regions have received the care and attention of Governments. What are our needs? We have gone through every report, the Yorkshire and Humberside reports, the regional strategy on growth industries, special studies on Doncaster, Huddersfield, Colne Valley, Halifax and Calder Valley and Humberside. They reveal that the major, persisting problem is dereliction. There is still a vast backlog of industrial dereliction which urgently needs tackling.
The West Riding County Council has a fine team of specialists spearheading a drive to clear up its part of the region. In spite of local government reorganisation it would make sense to use this team as a county unit. It is probably the best land reclamation team in the country. Allied with the expertise in the rest of the region there could be a drive to clear the area of its industrial waste and dilapidation, and of its image of the old industrial revolution infrastructure. Linked with this is the need for more Government intervention to spur the nationalised industries, private enterprise and local authorities into a more imaginative and urgent approach to the problem.
First of all then, dereliction must be tackled. Secondly, there is the question of communications. North and south road and rail communications are good but east to west, particularly opening up the Humberside area, is not progressing fast enough. Opening up Humberside has great potential. There is ample land and space for industrial sites and people. 59 Because of the physical planning advantages a high quality development of the area could be planned. We could develop a fine city region providing excellent living and working conditions in an attractive and healthy part of our county. Trade and traffic is bound to increase in the eastern sector of our region, especially as trade with Europe expands. With imagination and Government backing this could be the equivelant in our region to the development of a new town.
Still dealing with communications there remains the running argument about the development of a Yorkshire or regional airport. Yeadon has been frustrated; the Minister has said that there shall be no extension of the runway. There is still discussion going on about the likelihood of a development at Balne Moor or Thorne Waste and also there is always the possible future civil development of one of the RAF stations. It is time that the Government gave a lead to the county about their thinking on airport requirements, designed to satisfy our needs beyond 1975.
I come to county blackspots. The Economic and Planning Council in its regional strategy report said that Barnsley, Doncaster, the central coalfield covering Hems worth, South Kirby and the Dearne Valley and what are called the Five Towns—Pontefract, Castleford, Nottingley, Normanton and Featherstone—had been dominated by coalmining and that these mono-economies were collapsing. It said that there was and would continue to be a chronic shortage of male jobs. That is self-evident and it looks like continuing. Consideration must be given by the Government to these districts and to giving them development area status or, under the Industry Bill, a special examination with a view to financing new projects using selective financial assistance.
There is a need for more national Government offices in the region, and I am thinking particularly of the headquarters of nationalised industries. I have been impressed with the headquarters of Yorkshire Television in Leeds. It is employing more than 800 people, most in good salary brackets. It encourages people to live in the area and causes a good usage of hotels. In total, Yorkshire Television generates £4 million 60 worth of purchasing power in the district annually.
Why cannot the headquarters of the National Coal Board, with its 1,000 employees, be established say, in Doncaster, with a similar effect? Why cannot the British Steel Corporation's headquarters be established in Sheffield or another steel town in northern England, thereby helping to generate jobs, improve communications and bring about hotel development and an increase in purchasing power?
I am sure there is no reason why, with such good communications north and south, more of these major headquarters should not be sited where the work is done. I am impressed by the case made by the Yorkshire and Humberside Economic Planning Council that there ought to be a Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association to "sell" the county. We all know that there is a proliferation of these associations, in the West Riding, Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and most of the other towns, all of which have their individual development officers. Consideration should be given to welding these associations and experts—with Government backing—into a Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association where ideas, effort, finance and overheads could be pooled into one major selling campaign.
We have low-price land, available sites, low-priced housing and available labour, greatly improved communications. Allied with the Government's selective financial assistance the region could be "sold" as a whole.
I am being brief because I know that there are a number of my hon. Friends who wish to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker. There are many other matters I could raise, such as whether retraining is sufficient to satisfy the new growth industries that are beginning to emerge? Is the industrial training scheme really working? Is Yorkshire catering for the disabled unemployed and taking up its quota? What about the growing pool of the over 55-year-old miners, who will need special attention?
I have said enough to paint a broad picture of our problems. I do not think that our region is depressed and it need not have a depressing future. It does however convey the impression of being static and lacking the necessary growth 61 to keep pace with the attractions of financial incentives and inducements granted to other regions. The region has an underlying strength with its basic industries and its potential in the newer industries of electronics, plastics processing, Pharmaceuticals, mechanical engineering and food manufacture. However, it has an urgent need for an environmental drive, for brighter amenities to attract and to hold people and industries, and for better communications to open up the east, and a special appraisal of selected areas and positive use of selective financial assistance.
Given this sort of attention by the Government, our region and its people need not shiver at the prospects for their future. Yorkshire and Humberside are part of the heartland of our nation. We cannot afford to neglect that heartland, and we call upon the Government to give it that specialised attention which it deserves.
§ 4.51 p.m.
§ The Minister for Industrial Development (Mr. Christopher Chataway)
I beg to move, to leave out from 'House' to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof'welcomes the decision of Her Majesty's Government to make the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside an intermediate area, the introduction of cash grants towards capital expenditure on buildings, the expansion of the road building programme, and in particular the Humber Bridge scheme; and endorses the Government's measure to obtain a sustained and faster growth rate in the economy and so bring permanent improvements in employment and living standards throughout Britain'.I welcome very much the opportunity afforded by this debate to discuss the future of the Yorkshire and Humberside region and I am very glad that the Opposition should have chosen this subject for discussion today. The right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) has covered a lot of ground with commendable brevity. I will do my best to follow him because I know that there is a large number of right hon. and hon. Members who are anxious to take part in the debate.
I am bound to say, while welcoming the Motion, that even by the partisan standards of Opposition Motions on Supply days this particular Opposition Motion leaves a lot to be desired. For a start, no realistic description of the region's difficulties can begin from the 62 assumption that the problems of the region are two years old. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman in his opening remarks, and making a careful analysis, took a realistic line about this; it was only a little later in his speech that he began a caricature of what has happened in the last two years, and in that, I feel, he departed from reality. The plain fact is, and the whole House knows it, that the three basic industries of coal, steel, and textiles have been shedding labour for a very long time.
The Hunt Committee, which was set up by the last Administration, was absolutely clear in the forecast which it gave to the then Government. It reported in 1969 after a period in which unemployment in the region had risen by 79 per cent. compared with a national increase of 31 per cent., and it told the Government about themanpower contraction in the coal mining industry; a likely reduction in the labour force in the steel industry and the region; the run down in the textile industry and the special problem of Hull arising from its isolation and above average unemploymentThe Hunt Committee made a number of recommendations to the Government and a good many of these were turned down by the previous Administration. I shall come in due course to the measures which the present Government have taken, many of them in acceptance of the Hunt Committee recommendtions, which, as I said, were refused by the previous Administration.
I turn first to the three basic industries, to which the right hon. Gentleman himself addressed a large part of his remarks, and which are a continuing cause of concern, I know, in the region.
§ Mr. Chataway
Let me continue a little further first. I do not wish to take up too much time.
Both the National Coal Board and the British Steel Corporation have, as we know, to carry through essential rationalisation measures. The right hon. Gentleman did not suggest that it would be of any advantage to the region or to Britain to attempt, either in the public or the private sector, to halt such rationalisation, and he knows, and I am sure it would be accepted on both sides of the House, that for a region such as 63 this it is essential that we should back those industries which have a future and we should not stand in the way of industries which are equipping themselves to compete in the modern world. In both coal mining and steel we have to recognise that this rationalisation will in the years ahead have further employment implications.
There has been a good deal of discussion about the volume of demand for which the BSC ought to aim in 1980. My hon. Friend the Minister for Industry made a statement recently about that and we are awaiting the British Steel Corporation's further announcement later in the year. It is obviously vitally important to this region as to other regions that that estimate for 1980 should be neither too high nor too low. If it is low, employment opportunities are missed; if it is too high there is obviously a danger, if the target is not reached, that the British Steel Corporation will, at a later date, have to embark on a large number of closures.
I hope there will be no misunderstanding about the scale of the investment in steel now taking place. In his purple passage towards the beginning of his speech the right hon. Member for Barnsley talked about a cutback in investment in nationalised industries. As he will well know, nationalised industry investment has been brought forward to help, particularly in the regions. This is of importance to Yorkshire. What are the investment figures there? Nationally, investment in steel is currently running at £265 million—
§ Mr. Chataway
I will come to Yorkshire in just a second.
Investment in steel nationally is running at £265 million, three times the investment which was taking place in the last year of the Labour Government, and out of that investment programme Yorkshire and Humberside are faring well. Work is going ahead on the major Anchor scheme at Scunthorpe, costing some £200 million. It is a massive 64 scheme which allows both for replacement and for expansion of steel making and rolling facilities, and when it comes on stream it will form the third major BSC development and be the largest single scheme so far undertaken.
In coal mining, the fall in manpower—
§ Mr. Griffiths
I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman is dismissing the contribution made by Sheffield. We all know about Anchor. Will he tell us how much is spent in Sheffield and Rotherham and how much will be spent in that area and on the Special Steels Division?
§ Mr. Chataway
The hon. Gentleman must not take the line that because I do not mention something I am dismissing it. I have already said that I know that a large number of hon. Members want to speak in the debate. If I proceed on the assumption that I am dismissing something if I do not mention it, a lot of hon. Members will not get into the debate. The hon. Gentleman asks about Sheffield and Rotherham. Substantial investment in a variety of schemes has been made in the Rotherham works and following completion of the agreement with Firth Brown the BSC is now considering the best development for stainless steel investment in Sheffield, and substantial expenditure is likely in that important field.
§ Mr. Peter Hardy (Rother Valley)
The Minister has mentioned a number of interesting schemes which are under way. It seems to me that the principal scheme under way in Rotherham is the transfer of two arc furnaces from one side of Rotherham to the other, but this creates no extra jobs. We want a great deal more than that.
§ Mr. Chataway
As the hon. Gentleman knows, a rationalisation has been 65 agreed between the British Steel Corporation and the Government to tidy up the edge between the areas of responsibility of the BSC and private enterprise. I point simply to the enormous increase in investment in steel and to the fact that within the Yorkshire and Humberside areas a great deal is going on.
The fall in manpower in coal mining in the last decade has been considerable. It was 42 per cent. between 1962 and 1972. Nobody would under-estimate the difficulties that causes to the region and the amount of hardship it causes to individuals. The Yorkshire coalfield is one of the most efficient of the National Coal Board's areas of operation. In determining with the board the future levels of output the Government will, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has made clear, have regional considerations much in mind, although it has to be said that the level of the recent pay settlement cannot in the longer term make it easier to safeguard employment.
The Yorkshire coalfields are, therefore, an area into which it is important to attract new industry The area undoubtedly has special problems, and we shall have those much to the fore in our administration of selective assistance. It has the advantage of a strategic location in relation to the motorway box. I am hopeful, therefore, that, among others, it may be possible to attract into the area firms concerned with the distribution of heavy goods. The fact that Lyons has decided to locate in Barnsley a factory which will distribute confectionery to the whole of the United Kingdom is one indication of the advantages of the area. That is a big project, costing about £15 million and providing 2,000 jobs. Ft is, I know, welcome to the area, and it goes there because of the almost unique communications advantages. We are constructing advance factories in the Yorkshire coalfields district, and I assure the House that much of the effort of our regional office will be directed towards the problems of that area.
The other industry which has shed a lot of labour in the past decade is the wool textile industry. I am advised that in the last 12 months there have been clear signs of a turnround. There have been substantial productivity increases over recent years and most of the industry is now in a highly competitive position. 66 The industry is generally optimistic about entry into the EEC, and all the indications are of a period of stability in employment.
In discussing these three industries it would be wrong to overlook the fact that the region has a broad industrial base There is a wide range of industries engineering—glass manufacture, dyeing and food processing. There is, therefore, a good base on which to build.
There are considerable opportunities for expansion in the tourism and leisure-time industry. The region has a great number of tourist attractions—the Cities of York and Harrogate, the coastline, the Yorkshire Dales and Wolds. In the Yorkshire Tourist Board and the East Midlands Tourist Board we have two active organisations, both receiving help from the English Tourist Board. Considerable sums are being paid out under the hotels development incentive scheme, and we shall keep under review the use made of our powers under the Development of Tourism Act.
I argued a moment ago that the problems of the region, particularly those concerning the reduced demand for labour in coal, steel and textiles, pre-date the present Government by many years. In any serious discussion of the region's problems we must recognise that the economic policies of the previous Administration have had perhaps the largest influence of all upon the trends of employment in the past couple of years I readily concede that Government policies of assistance to the region have been carried on by successive Governments and that there are real achievements from which the region can now benefit. Added to its central location is what is becoming an excellent system of communications. Infrastructure over a number of years has been greatly improved.
During the past two years the Government have acted with vigour on programmes further to strengthen the region and to overcome its long-term difficulties My hon. Friend the Under-Secetary of State for the Environment will have more to say about this in replying to the debate
In two years the Government have done more for road-building in Yorkshire and Humberside than has ever been done before. They have done more to clear 67 away the dereliction of the past than ever before and more to modernise houses. I was surprised that the right hon. Member for Barnsley seemed to imply that the measures for clearing derelict land were part of the recently-announced package. I must tell him that with the 75 per cent. grants that are available throughout the region a massive programme is in hand, and in the past three years the Department of the Environment has approved projects to a value of £1.8 million covering 1,250 acres of derelict land. That is a big scheme, and my hon. Friend will want to say more about Operation Eyesore.
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman when he places this as the first priority. It is not only an enviromental but an industrial matter. If there is to be the expansion in the area which is vitally important, these measures to improve the environment must go forward and have real steam behind them.
From the right hon. Gentleman's speech one would hardly have guessed at the expenditure on roads. Work in progress in the area totals £80 million, against £59 million for the last year of the previous Administration. There is £516 million worth of road work in the pipeline, compared with £377 million two years ago. These are very big schemes.
My hon. Friend will want to deal in detail with some of the points made by the right hon. Gentleman about opening up Humberside. With the motorway to Humberside, the Government are determined that the opening-up of the Hull port shall be progressed as fast as possible.
From what the right hon. Gentleman said about the 75 per cent. improvement grants, one might have thought that they were introduced only the other day. They were introduced in June, 1971, for the intermediate areas. Now, with the extension of the intermediate areas, those 75 per cent. improvement grants up to an increased limit of £1,500 are available throughout the area. That gives a tremendous opportunity for the modernisation of old homes. All these measures add up to a considerable increase in the level of Government assistance over the past two years.
68 On the industry front the thoroughgoing review of regional policy undertaken by the Government has resulted in the measures announced in the March White Paper. Those measures give to the region many of the advantages for which it has been asking successive Governments for many years. The package has been widely welcomed by all those concerned with the development of the region. They add up to the most powerful and comprehensive set of measures yet devised to speed the region's development.
A number of important recommendations by the Hunt Committee which were rejected by the Labour Administration have now been acted upon. As the Hunt Committee recommended, there are now to be building grants throughout the region. They will not be confined only to projects which create new employment but will be available for modernisation; they will not discriminate against industry already established within the region; and the lower limit above which industrial development certificates are required has been raised even beyond the Hunt proposals. All these are major recommendations which were refused by the previous Administration but which have now been implemented by the present Government.
In the past two months I had the opportunity to discuss the region's problems with a number of trade unionists, industrialists and administrators. I must apologise to the hon. Member for Don-caster (Mr. Harold Walker) that, due to an error for which I take responsibility, a letter from him to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not resulted in a meeting between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the hon. Gentleman and a number of his hon. Friends. However, in the discussions I have had, and in the course of visits to the region, I have been struck by the widespread recognition which now exists that Government measures give the region very considerable opportunities. It is most important that we should devolve to the maximum extent responsibility to the region for the administration of these new measures, and in particular for the administration of selective assistance.
There is within the region a high proportion of industry either locally-owned 69 or locally-controlled; there is a pool of local management talent and undoubtedly it is a region which is anxious to stand on its own feet. I believe that we shall achieve far greater results if we give to the new regional set-up—to the regional office, the regional industrial director and the regional industrial development board—a wide measure of discretion in the administration of selective assistance so that they can act quickly and can take decisions in the region. It is my intention that a high proportion of cases should be dealt with in the region itself.
The new regional development grants, which are at a rate of 20 per cent. payable for capital expenditure on new building and additions to existing buildings for qualifying activities, will be a powerful incentive to modernisation of old buildings.
The right hon. Member for Barnsley laid a great deal of emphasis on mobile industry, but mobile industry can make only a relatively small contribution to the problems of any region. A larger part of the answer for Yorkshire and Humberside will come from the expansion and modernisation of the industry that is already there.
I am anxious that selective assistance should be available to service industries as well as to manufacturing. Successive Governments have come to the conclusion that the fact that grants are not given to all service industries does not make sense because the majority of service industries are dependent on the level of the economy in their area. No amount of assistance will make a shop open if there are no customers. There are some mobile service industries. We have in selective assistance a flexible tool with which we should be able to give assistance in those cases which are of real importance to the development of a region or of an area with particular difficulties.
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that we should do all we can to attract office jobs. I was interested in what he said about Yorkshire Television and he will be glad to know that commercial radio is on the way and may be able to duplicate some of these advantages. I feel that these new measures can have a considerable effect on regeneration within the region, but they will depend for 70 their success on the impact of national economic policy.
It is a truism to say that for any region national economy policy is even more important than any regional measures. The economic policies which we have pursued have involved reducing taxation, increasing incentives to invest for profitable undertakings, removing restraints from small businesses, removing discrimination against service industries, increasing the level of demand, seeking to soften the social impact of economic change and directing the whole thrust of economic and industrial policy towards long-term growth. All these are policies which will have an increasing effect as time goes on.
I appreciate that some Labour Members will argue that these policies are ill-conceived or that the stimulus given to the economy is either too little or too large. It is true that it has taken longer and has required greater effort than almost anybody foresaw to pull the economy out of the deepening depression left by the Labour Administration. But nobody with a serious interest in the problems of Yorkshire and Humberside will seek to argue that the increase in the region's unemployment over recent years has nothing to do with the economic policy pursued up to June, 1970, or will overlook the gathering impact of unprecedented stimulus given to the economy by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in successive Budgets.
§ Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)
Before the right hon. Gentleman reaches those larger controversies, I should like to ask him specifically what he means by saying that, although mobile industries are important, a larger part of new employment in the region will have to come from the modernisation of existing industry. Is he ignoring the fact that as our important industries, such as steel and coal, become more and more efficient by the application of modern technology, some of our men will lose their jobs? Will he not say a great deal more about Government policy in attracting new industries, and certainly lighter industries, into the area? So far he has said nothing at all to encourage us in that direction
§ Mr. Chataway
I am sorry if what I said was not sufficiently clear. My point is that the number of industries which are 71 mobile is relatively limited. I have been given an estimate that in an average year the number of jobs in the whole country which may flow from industries which are mobile is of the order of 30,000. It is fairly clear that to a region such as Yorkshire and Humberside—which does not have anything like the unemployment problems of some of the development areas and does not have as large grants—incoming industry is only part of the solution. It is an important contribution but it is relatively small.
A larger part of the answer will lie in the expansion of industries which are already there. I detailed a number of industries which are at present in the region; I said that there was an encouragingly wide variety of industry within the region. We must look primarily to the expansion of those activities and the expansion of the service industries to provide new jobs. Modernisation in the coal and steel industries, which were mentioned by the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson), as well as in a number of other industries will mean either that there are fewer jobs in those industries or that, even with expansion, there will not be many more jobs. We must look primarily to concerns within the region and to the possibility of expanding them.
§ Mr. A. E. P Duffy (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
The point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) is of the utmost importance. The right hon. Gentleman has stressed the importance of the findings of the Hunt Committee but he did not mention the dissenting note by Professor Brown who pointed out, in support of what my hon. Friend has just said, that existing industries cannot generate the new growth and job opportunities which the region will require.
§ Mr. Chataway
I must not be drawn at too much length on this matter, but it is impossible to conclude from the figures that a major part—certainly not the major part—of the answer to any region, perhaps least of all Yorkshire and Humberside, can lie in incoming industry. I have said that it is important, and in a number of areas it will be very important. In the South Yorkshire coalfield, for example, there will be a need for special efforts.
72 However, I am bound to tell the hon. Gentleman that the wide consultations that we have had in preparation for the new measures have shown within the regions a very large measure of support for the view taken by the Hunt Committee. It is really important to give much more assistance than ever before to concerns within the regions. Why should they not be able to expand? There are large numbers of them which are extremely successful, and perhaps one of the largest continuing complaints about the kinds of assistance that Yorkshire and Humberside and other regions have received has been that they have discriminated against the firms already in an area.
§ Mr. Wilkinson
Did not Professor Brown also say in his minority report that a new town or the kind of growth centre advocated by the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) would not make sense for Yorkshire? Much of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was trying to amplify that point. In other words, should not we try to revivify existing centres of population and economic activity, as Her Majesty's Government are doing?
§ Mr. Chataway
I am afraid I cannot deal with that point without notice. However, if my hon. Friend says it, I am sure it is right.
I wish to make two further points. It would be unrealistic to ignore in any debate such as this the drastic effects that cost inflation can have on employment prospects in any region. It must be said flatly that every excessive wage settlement will damage employment prospects. To modify a phrase of the Leader of the Opposition, it is incontestable that one man's wage increase is another man's redundancy notice. In the past year, thanks largely to the CBI initiative, the national rate of increase in the retail price index has been pulled back from 11 per cent. to 6 per cent. But if unemployment figures in the regions are to improve rapidly—in Yorkshire and Humberside no less than elsewhere—clearly that progress must be maintained. I recognise that many right hon. and hon. Members on the Opposition side are as aware of this as anyone, but those who back every inflationary wage demand deal a deadly blow to areas of high unemployment 73 because it is in those areas that job prospects are hardest hit by rising costs
§ Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)
Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to tell us the gross annual earnings of manual workers and non-manual workers in Yorkshire and North Humberside and compare them with the United Kingdom as a whole? Then he can give us this spiel.
§ Mr. Chataway
If the hon. Gentleman wants the figures, I will secure them for him. My point is that inflationary increases of this kind militate not against the areas of prosperity primarily but against those areas where the employment situation is already weak. That is true of settlements right across the board nationally
The right hon. Member for Barnsley said a great deal about one report of the Yorkshire and Humberside Council I was surprised that he did not refer to the most recent report of a working party of that council. It was a report on the implications of membership of the Common Market. The working party, set up last year by the council, was asked to take stock of the implications for the region of British entry into the Common Market. The TUC and the CBI were represented on the working party. By any standard, its report published last month is a careful, thorough, realistic piece of work
§ Mr. Chataway
The regional TUC represented on the working party has, so far as I know, entered no dissident note about its findings
Those findings recognise that some industries may face increased competition, that entry into Europe will not be a magic wand, and that it will be essential to adapt to changing circumstances. But the working party sees no reason why Government measures to assist Yorkshire and Humberside should be incompatible with membership. It sees the advantages to the region of Britain's ability within the Community to help in developing the Community's regional policies. It finds that coal, steel, some parts of the chemical and engineering industries, food, confectionery and many sections of the wool textile and carpet industries expect to benefit from membership. It recog- 74 nises the great communications advantages which the region will enjoy within the Common Market. What will be opened up is a new trade axis to Europe across the country from Liverpool to Humberside through the heart of the region.
The working party's conclusion is as follows:Provided we can make full use of the opportunities of a much larger home market and use our regional resources to the full, we are confident that entering the Common Market can benefit the people of Yorkshire and Humberside
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
While I appreciate the advantages of joining the EEC, does not my right hon. Friend agree that they can be made use of only if present conditions in the Port of Hull are improved? At the moment they are a disgrace.
§ Mr. Chataway
I agree that there are important developments to take place there. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment will be saying more about communications developments.
The Motion urges the Government to take action in helping to foster greater faith in a more prosperous future for the people of the region. If right hon. and hon. Members opposite wanted to help in fostering that faith, I believe that they could do a great deal by dropping their increasingly unrealistic posturings over the Common Market. There is widespread recognition that this region stands to gain enormously from membership.
As the right hon. Member for Barnsley said, we are not dealing with a depressed area. Many of the regions and industries have been under-capitalised, and these new measures will provide a shot in the arm for them. But the region as a whole has welcomed a new package of assistance and is, I believe, looking to the future with confidence
§ 5.27 p.m.
§ Mr. George Darling (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
I shall explain to the Minister for Industrial Development why we have not drawn attention to the last report of the economic planning council about the implications of membership of the EEC. Our reason is that the report has come in for a great deal of criticism in the area and, until we have made a further 75 investigation of the views put forward in the report, we are not sure about their soundness. In any case, the European Communities Bill is being debated. Some of us think that probably we have covered all the issues that may be raised. However, the Minister has now put forward some more which give us ammunition for further debate on that Bill. In any event, I cannot accept the working party's report without a great deal more investigation.
I am sorry that the Minister brought into his rather lengthy remarks the proposition that part of the trouble from which the Yorkshire and Humberside area is suffering is caused by wage inflation. There might perhaps have been more substance in that remark if it had been applied to some other areas of the country. One of the problems that we face in this region is that wages on the whole, particularly in some of the older industries where craftsmen are exploited, usually by inefficient management, are far too low. I for one shall not stop advocating a decent wage for craftsmen in the Sheffield area so that their take-home pay is considerably more than £20 a week. At the moment it is considerably less in far too many of the firms in the area, and that situation is indefensible.
I do not know to whom the Minister has been speaking if he thinks there is a general impression in the area that the region was depressed economically in the spring of 1970—the heritage left by the Labour Government, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred—and now everybody is facing the future with a great deal more optimism. Industrialists and trade unionists to whom I speak in the Yorkshire and Humberside region do not share the Minister's optimism. In fact, they are becoming increasingly pessimistic. Perhaps there is a Freudian slip in the Amendment which shows that the Government are not too happy about the situation either because, speaking about the need to obtain a sustained growth rate in the economy, it refers to the Government's "measure"—just one measure, and I am waiting to hear about it.
There are three main reasons for the high rate of unemployment in parts of the region. The Minister himself rightly 76 said at the end of his speech that none of the problems in the area, such as that of providing job opportunities, will be solved until there is a higher and sustained rate of growth in the economy. I do not see that coming about as a result of any of the measures referred to by the Minister today.
It is all very well for the Minister to talk about the recommendations of the Hunt Committee. If he stays in his present job for any length of time, which I hope he will not—I do not mean him personally; I mean the Government—he will find that the Hunt proposals are having very little effect in providing more jobs in the region. That was, of course, no reason for turning down the building grant. We accepted most of the other proposals but, as events have shown, they have had very little effect on employment in the region. The reason is that unless there is national growth these measures do not make a great deal of difference.
Nor will anything be done on the second cause, on how to find new jobs to replace those hitherto provided by older industries which are now declining. The right hon. Gentleman is misleading the House when he refers to investment in steel providing employment in the region. Admittedly the Anchor scheme will go ahead, but far fewer steel workers will be employed in Scunthorpe at the end of the day and the investment and technological changes in steel in the Sheffield and Rotherham areas will lead to the loss of at least 5,000 jobs. I agree that we must have a modern steel industry and that there must be this investment, but it will not provide work for anybody. This is the third cause of unemployment. It will, in fact, mean people being put out of work.
In view of the time and the fact that we lost an hour of our debate to begin with, I shall be brief and concentrate on only one issue.
The situation may be improved if there is sustained growth in the economy generally, and it may be that the Industry Bill will help. I want to be as generous as I can, but the fact is that that Bill and the changes in Government policy have delayed expansion and it will be several years before the full effects of that Bill are felt. This delay is the result of the Government's doctrinaire approach.
77 Even if the Industry Bill does help, I do not think it will do more than take up the slack in the present level of unemployment. I still think that in the worst hit areas of the region there will be considerable unemployment unless we concentrate on plans for those areas. Most of the worst hit areas are derelict but they are rich in resources which are now considered to be important because of our rapidly growing interest in environmental problems.
There are colliery spoilheaps in abundance which are full of shale, chemicals and other useful materials. Obsolete steelworks are not being dismantled in a way which enables us to make full use of the scrap materials there. Most of the dismantling is done hurriedly, as I am sure some of my hon. Friends could explain to the House. I am convinced that miles of copper cable have been left in some of the abandoned collieries. Because of price and other factors, firms given the job of extracting materials from abandoned collieries have never taken out of them all the useful materials which they could have removed. Waste dumps in these areas are full of useful scrap steel, copper, zinc, aluminium and so on, and we are adding to this useless dumping every day. Recoverable materials are there but we are doing nothing about them. All that we are doing is fouling the environment and adding to the pollution.
The Secretary of State for the Environment—I am glad that his Under-Secretary of State is to tell us something about what that Department is doing—made brave speeches in Stockholm about the need for anti-pollution measures, cleaning up derelict areas, rivers and so on. He now has an opportunity for some realistic action because, if we are to recover and recycle waste materials on a big scale—and that is surely what is needed—we must provide throughout the region, and particularly in the worst-hit areas, more large-scale sophisticated processing plant in order to extract, process and make use of these raw materials.
The Government should begin by placing the orders now for the plant and equipment that will be required. Some years ago I put forward a scheme which if accepted would have meant that wherever there was a colliery closure there would be set up a committee of the older 78 workers—those who would probably not have a chance of getting another job—with the redundant mine manager and mine surveyor whose job it would be to find out just what materials could be extracted from that mine on a profitable basis. Such a committee would need a little expert help, and the machinery to carry out the job could be loaned for the purpose. By doing that the Government would save money by not having to pay unemployments benefits. If the cleaning up job were done properly it would result in a cleaner countryside or mining area, and in addition it would provide a profit from the re-use of the raw materials.
The Government are to pay 75 per cent. or 85 per cent. of the cost, but there is a problem in that the local authorities which are being asked to provide the additional money are those which are worst hit. They can least afford to pay part of the cost of cleaning up the area. No doubt some of my hon. Friends will enlarge on this problem.
The Government should get busy on this kind of proposition without delay. Processing plants for this job have been designed, and we therefore do not need to put designers to work for that purpose. We know, too, that manufacturers are willing to produce this plant and equipment. This view will no doubt be supported by the hon. Members for Sheffield. Heeley (Mr. Spence) and Hallam (Mr J. H. Osborn). A plant-making firm in Sheffield, for example, which is in the doldrums is crying out for orders for plant and machinery of this description Such firms could get their works going to produce the necessary plant and equipment and as part of the cost of cleaning up the area would come from the Government the initial cost of the machinery could be met by the Treasury. If it is done on a big scale and in the profitable way that I have suggested, whatever cost the Government may face to begin with, it will turn out to be profitable even to the Government in the long run, as the loans for buying the equipment are paid back.
But what is needed, over and above any measure that the Government may bring forward, is a pump-priming operation of this kind. It would not only help to do the cleaning-up job and provide employment: it would also stimulate the economy and help with a good social 79 purpose at the same time. So I hope that the Under-Secretary will say that the Department of the Environment will take up this proposition with the enthusiasm that I believe it deserves.
§ 5.41 p.m.
§ Sir Paul Bryan (Howden)
I should like first to deal very shortly with a constituency point. The final decisions on local government boundaries are not all-important to the social and economic life of my area but they are very important. As an East Riding Member of Parliament I am profoundly dissatisfied with the Government's proposals for our area. Most of my constituents have a country background; they have almost nothing in common with industrial Hull and absolutely nothing in common with Lincolnshire. The only reason why I do not develop that view, no doubt to the relief of other hon. Members, is that I shall be moving an Amendment on this subject when the Local Government Bill is next before the House.
We welcome this debate and the Opposition's initiative, but it has been spoiled by the fact that the Opposition have got stuck under a permanent three-line Whip. The most uncontroversial subjects have to be made controversial. That is what spoiled a very good speech by the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason). We had an example of this only a fortnight ago when we were asked to vote on the consultative document on training, on which we had asked for the views of the Opposition before coming to decisions. That had to be a three-line Whip. Once again, I cannot imagine why this present subject, of immense importance to everyone here, should be controversial.
Do the Opposition find it deplorable that the present Government have done more for Yorkshire and Humberside than any previous Government? Do they not deplore the fact that the Labour Government set up the Hunt Report but did very little to follow its recommendations? Our proposals are largely in line with the Hunt Report. Is that something that the Opposition want to vote against?
I am of course in favour of a continuing appraisal because our problems are continually changing, but we could not 80 have a bigger mass of material to go on. Never has an area been more appraised, surveyed, studied and researched. We have an excellent economic planning council, manned by notable and prominent Yorkshire citizens. It has brought out a series of reports which could not have given us more knowledge and information. In addition, we have the massive feasibility study which I found a good deal more theoretical and less down-to-earth than the council's work. We had the Hunt Report, a large slice of which was devoted to Yorkshire and Humberside; we have the Yorkshire universities producing the Yorkshire Bulletin and the West Riding's plan for growth. We could not have more information. The time has come to take a rest from reappraising and to get down to some action. That is what the Government's White Paper proposes.
No doubt all of us are experts on some part of the great County of Yorkshire. I should like to dwell on two areas of which I have some practical knowledge—Humberside, my constituency lies beside the Humber, and the textile West Riding, where I have spent most of my industrial life.
The present problems of Humberside lie very largely in unemployment. Coming from the Department that I recently left, I was preoccupied with this subject. I would stress to Hull Members that I am conscious of the immediate problem that they have before them. Unemployment has been too big for too long. But in the long term, it is safe to say that Humberside could not be more promising. The opportunities are there. If Yorkshiremen do not take those opportunities, someone else will.
Where else in Europe is there a largely undeveloped deep-water estuary with four established ports—facing the expanding ports of Europe—with land and labour to spare, with a rich agricultural hinterland and regional development grants? All this and the Common Market too. Of course, most of this could have been said to be true 10 years ago. Hull seems always to have had a future. But I believe that that future is about to arrive—in the next three years or so.
The new accelerator must surely be the new communications—the bridge which will be the largest single-span 81 bridge in the world, and the new motorways. People away from the area do not realise the extraordinary fact that Hull has sustained its position as the third port in England upon the most antediluvian communications possible. A large proportion of what goes out of the port has to cross the river somewhere.
The first crossing is Boothferry Bridge, which is ancient enough, but the next crossing is Selby Bridge, the old toll bridge. Everybody in the area will be interested to know what will happen to that toll bridge when the M62 goes over on its new bridge. Successive Governments, ever since 1792 when these tolls were made tax-free, have been too poor to buy the bridge. I hope that the reduced traffic will allow the Government to get rid of those tolls. The existing roads are not wide enough. The huge container lorries rush through villages like Newport and Gilberdyke to the great danger of the inhabitants.
In contrast the new arrangements seem a little short of superb. I do not see how there could be better communications, with the motorway connection right across to Liverpool and connecting with a whole motorway network. Not only does this bring great hopes for Hull and the big towns but smaller towns like Howden and Market Weighton, which have been static economically for years, will all thrive on this new situation.
In contrast to the situation of Humber-side, the West Riding—the textile West Riding—has very different problems, which the right hon. Member for Barnsley covered pretty well. The greatest problem is unemployment. If one tries to find a hopeful factor in a difficult situation, it may be the very diversity of industry in the West Riding. Few people realise what adiversity there is there, especially as so many of the mills, which look like cotton mills or woollen mills, are now producing other things. We have a great diversity. In that situation, a bigger activity in the national economy will be widely felt in the West Riding. I have faith that the steps that are being taken are already having effect. A month ago we got better unemployment figures. One hopes that this is the turn of the tide. I have faith that the activity has started and that unemployment is declining.
82 But in this area, even if unemployment is reduced to a tolerable level—whatever that it—we still have very big problems which have not been faced nationally until the arrival of the Hunt Report. These are caused by the slow, steady but definite industrial decline. The Hunt Report and the economic planning committee have highlighted this phenomenon. Without wishing to be controversial, I should have thought that the present Government are the first to have taken steps to try to put this right. On the whole, previous Governments have been over-preoccupied with the development areas, which is understandable, and with unemployment alone. But the secondary problem of slow decline is extremely serious.
I give the House a personal experience of how this happens. As the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) knows, I was chairman of a clothing firm in Hebden Bridge, right in the heart of that area. Some years ago we wanted to expand. We could not expand in Hebden Bridge because we were short of labour. Therefore, we expanded in the area of Dearne Valley. Now, several hundred people work for the firm in Dearne Valley, and no one has lost a job in Hebden Bridge. On the face of it, that looks all right. But the effect of that sort of operation and experience multiplied a number of times is what is faithfully recorded in the report of the planning committee; in other words, no new industry has come in. The effect of this for the young, especially the bright young, is very serious. A lack of new and modern growth industry means a shortage of technical and high income jobs. High income potential is a common factor in all growth areas. The tendency to low wages and the lack of opportunities makes for the sort of migration which has been mentioned earlier in the debate.
There is also a legacy of industrial dereliction and a depressing environment. Housing is perhaps cheap, but it is nevertheless below national standards. All these factors go towards encouraging young people to move to other areas, producing the migration mentioned by the right hon. Member for Barnsley.
I do not want to give an all-bleak picture because, while this occurs, there are plenty of highly successful and highly 83 modern industries. In the constituency of the hon. Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill), there is the Halifax Building Society, the biggest building society in the world. In the Calder Valley there is probably the most modern carpet industry in the world, or at any rate in this country. Nevertheless there is a steady decline. The rate of decline is not dramatic. Probably that is why not much has been done about it. But the rate will accelerate. Action to counter it must be mainly local. However, the debate is for discussing what Governments can do to help
After hearing my right hon. Friend the Minister, we must agree that the Goverenment have made a good start. I do not want to reiterate all the measures spoken about by my right hon. Friend, but I shall mention one or two of them. The extension of intermediate area status over the whole area is important. I do not believe that will attract a lot of new industry, but at least it puts us on a par with our neighbours and helps us to retain what we have. A most important new step is the new grant to already established industries. In the West Riding a large number of small and medium sized firms have the greatest difficulty in moving to other areas or in starting factories in other areas because there are great management problems and so on. But they are much better able to expand where they already operate. That is the area at which we have to look.
The much-quoted Professor Brown said that he thought the Hunt Report over-stressed the importance of infrastructure as an attractor of industry. That may be true, but one cannot under-stress it as a retainer of industry. If we had not got the M62 motorway, which puts us on the map in terms of communications, we should be in a serious position, because all other development areas now have a modern motorway connection.
I doubt that the question of training will feature very much in the debate, but practically the first recommendation of the Hunt Report on human resources was about training. As we know, there is a massive expansion programme for training. I hope and expect that Yorkshire will benefit from it.
§ Mr. Albert Roberts (Normanton)
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that a lot of damage was done between 1951 and 1964, when we could not get industrial development certificates and part of our industry started to leave the area? The person who came to my rescue in 1965 was my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling). It was between 1951 and 1964 that the real damage was done.
§ Sir P. Bryan
I cannot vouch for the dates but I agree in general with the hon. Gentleman that all Governments over the years have been over-sticky about industrial development certificates. There were things which had to be looked at very individually, but there has been a tendency for them to be applied in a somewhat general way, to the disadvantage of industry in some areas.
In a debate such as this, when we air the troubles of our area, we do not always do it a good service. It is important to publicise the most recent report about growth industries in the region. It is a very important document because it identifies the growth industries and the potential growth industries. It stresses the existing advantages. It points out its geographical position, in the centre of the country, the area's improving communications network; that access to ports on both east and west coasts, will be of first class standard by the mid-1970s—that is of particular significance for the growth of trade with Europe—the intermediate area status for building and assistance grants; the experienced labour force with a wide variety of skills; the surplus of manpower in the Yorkshire coalfield suitable for training to skilled and semi-skilled status; the development of the region's universities and polytechnics, which has increased the potential flow of scientists; the abundance of developable land, the house prices which are amongst the lowest in the country, the primary resources ready at hand, and so on.
This impressive catalogue means that this is an area into which growth industries can go today and make progress. As the report stresses, action must come locally. But obviously central Government have their part of play. Yorkshire-men are fairly slow to show enthusiasm. But I should have thought that with the sort of measures listed by my right hon.
85 Friend the Minister and the extra measures in legislation and in the White Paper, Yorkshiremen would at least concede that the Government had done their bit.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Stanley Cohen (Leeds, South-East)
Even at this early stage I am disappointed at the way the debate has progressed, but for a different reason from that expressed by the hon. Member for Howden (Sir P. Bryan). It is most unfortunate that the Minister, who I am afraid is not with us at the moment, made so little comment to reassure hon. Members on the Opposition benches and the people of the Yorkshire and Humber-side region.
It is equally unfortunate that the Minister took his time and the time of the House to introduce what could almost have been described as an extension of the Common Market debate. Out of consideration to the many hon. Members on both sides who want to speak in the debate I shall not take him up on the points he raised about entry into the EEC, sorely tempted as I am to do so. I recognise the point he made as valid in the sense that this Government alone cannot be held responsible for the present situation. We would all be prepared to admit that the process of deterioration has occurred over a lengthly period but it is only fair for the Government to accept their share of responsibility for the way that deterioration has accelerated in the last two years. It is this that has concerned hon. Members on the Opposition benches, and it was because of this that we pressed for this debate today.
There have been so many assessments, surveys and reports. But the very good advice contained in those reports is not matched by the action which has been taken. I hope that arising out of the debate, in spite of what the Minister said earlier, we may produce effective action which will help to resolve the problems of the region. The problems are social and environmental, in particular. Unfortunately, time does not permit us to deal with them all specifically in detail. Whatever progress we might wish to make in the social or environmental sphere bears to a large extent, however, on the region's viability. It is understandable, therefore, if we tend to concentrate on the economic aspects.
86 I speak as a representative of a Leeds division, and I do not regard it as significant in any way that a Sheffield Member should have been called to speak before I was. Leeds is one of the major cities not only of the region but of the country, and Leeds Members are entitled to be concerned not only about the present situation but about the trends for the future. If the trend which has persisted over the last few years continues unabated the city will be in very serious difficulty.
It is very unfortunate that there is not a great deal of statistical data available for the last two years. Even the census which was taken in 1970 is not yet available for analysis and consideration. This is one of the difficulties many of us have experienced in trying to present an up-to-date picture in the debate. We know the sort of problems which face our areas but to provide a comparison with what is happening elsewhere in the country is not easy.
In Leeds and in other parts of the region the diversity of industry has been our protection against economic slump. For many years Leeds was in the happy situation of having an unemployment level of about half the national average. Since 1968 the reverse has been the case. Rarely, if ever, during that period, have we been below that level and usually we are in excess of it. It is clear from Department of Employment figures that since 1967 the level of unemployment in the city has increased two and a half times. Even is the last 12 months, a period for which the Government must accept responsibility to a very large extent, the figure has increased by 23 per cent. That is a fantastic increase which we obviously cannot tolerate.
A cause for even greater concern was referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) when he spoke of the employment of disabled people. Leeds is not exceptional in this respect. It is typical of Yorkshire and Humberside and probably of a wider part of the country also. When I speak of the disabled I mean those who are capable of being employed in normal circumstances, and not those who require sheltered workshop accommodation. Unemployment in this category in the last 12 months has increased by 25 per cent. This kind of situation obviously requires drastic action.
87 The major problem is that throughout the region the large industries are being undermined. In Leeds the biggest employing industry is the clothing industry, and I hope the House will seriously consider the situation which is developing in it. From 1949 to 1965 there was a reduction of 25 per cent. in the numbers employed in the industry, and that reduction has been accentuated certainly during the last two years. There may be many reasons for this but it is important to note the change in Government policy, the way in which the industry has been dealt with and the effect of our international attitude upon it. In 1970 8.2 per cent. of men's and boys' clothing sold in this country was imported. But in 1971 that figure had increased almost 50 per cent. to nearly 12 per cent. The same can be said of shirts, underwear and overalls where imports increased from 16 per cent. to 26 per cent. of the total sold in Britain. The industry in Leeds is facing a very difficult time, and very little is being done by the Government to try to offset those difficulties.
We are not attracting new industries into the region. There may be many reasons for this but I think it is partly because the region itself and the image of the region are not attracting people and investment. There has been a lack of willingness by Governments over a period to allocate the necessary funds to make this possible and to encourage the siting of industry in the area. I think the point was made earlier that the Government are failing to assist the existing industries, because certainly in parts of the West Riding—and Leeds is no exception—many of the industries are archaic. It may be that in the intermediate grants system we are providing assistance for them. But the intermediate grants system is unable to provide the wherewithal to help older-established industries to replace their old plant. Very often people are working in Dickensian conditions with machinery which is appropriate to those conditions. I would like the Government seriously to consider whether they are prepared to extend financial aid and facilities to assisting industries of this sort to replace the necessary parts of their equipment.
Because of the time I had better conclude but I shall remind the House of 88 something my right hon. Friend said when he spoke of us having to sell the county. I am sure he is right. Financial aid in itself will not be sufficient. We must create a new image of our region. It is unfortunately true that in many areas in this country, particularly the South of England, there is a tendency to regard us still as morons wearing cloth caps and mufflers, keeping a donkey in the bath and spending our leisure time climbing slag heaps. We have a heritage in our county of which we should be proud. The natural beauty and the resources of the county will stand comparison with anywhere in this country, as will its academic and industrial achievements. We have played a vital part in the commerce and life of Britain, and it it important that we should continue to do so.
I finish on a warning note. Any Government, whatever their political complexion, will ignore the problems facing our region, those that exist now and those that are likely to arise in the future, at their peril, because we shall not die peacefully. The health of the nation depends on the health of its economic regions. Therefore, we must make sure that our region is viable. I appeal to all concerned to give serious consideration to that.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ Mr. John Spence (Sheffield, Heeley)
It is a pleasure to follow the concluding remarks of the hon. Member for Leeds. South-East (Mr. Cohen).
In the interests of constructive debate, I intend to limit what I have to say to a few important points based on the situation as seen from the Sheffield angle and the industrial side of that great city.
But before I come to those detailed points, I should like to refer to the undertaking of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Industrial Development to devolve to the regions responsibility for administration of the selective assistance. That is a major step forward in the new policies. It is very welcome and heartening news, and I sincerely hope he will not be deflected from that purpose by any blandishments from Whitehall.
The right hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling) spoke about the environment. Nowadays the environment is a growth industry. We have a 89 coal industry in the Sheffield area, the South Yorkshire coalfields, and I believe that concern for the environment has a considerable part to play in the growth of the industry. Perhaps not many people realise that from an atmospheric point of view we in this country are far ahead of our prospective European partners. Sheffield is the cleanest city in Europe—although one always adds, "atmospherically speaking". Its counterparts in Europe are shrouded in fog and smog on occasions when Sheffield, under similar conditions, is not. Therefore, there has grown up the potentiality of an industry based on coal for smokeless fuel for both domestic and industrial use. In view of the possibilities in Europe, it must surely be a major industry, and something that should be very carefully considered.
I agree with what the right hon. Gentleman said about extractive plant to deal with spoil heaps. It is a constructive point, and one which should be pursued.
The right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) said it was the job of Government to create a climate in which the regions could grow. That is true. I also believe that it is part of the regions' job to take full advantage of the opportunities Government may create. In a nutshell, I believe it is the job of the regions to sell themselves to industry. I also think that the task of selling must be done in two dimensions. First, there is the publicity side, for the presentation of the area. Secondly, there is the factual and technical information necessary to attract new industries.
Unlike my right hon. Friend, I believe the greatest future for the regions lies in attracting new industry from outside, though not in deference to extensions of industry from within. The potential market for new industry for our regions is considerable. After all, we have many benefits to offer the EEC, the United States and Japan. Therefore, a vigorously led local campaign with the object of selling the area, the town, the city, the region is probably the most constructive form of self-help that we can do for ourselves in the regions.
But, unfortunately for many people in local authorities, in industry and in positions of responsibility in the regions—and I am addressing myself mainly to Sheffield now—this involves a big change 90 of attitude towards industry. I have recently made some independent inquiries which have yielded some very disturbing results, which I believe it will be useful to hon. Members from other regions and those in authority in Sheffield to know. The most frequent complaint which I have heard from industrialists in the course of my inquiries is that the city had the wrong attitude towards industry coming in, and that efforts to bring industry to the city were being needlessly thwarted.
A general statement of that kind led me to seek to particularise, and I was given some concrete reasons for the statement. The first was that Sheffield would not sell the freeholds of industrial sites, that the local authority wished to have too much control through the medium of the lease. This may or may not be a reasonable practice. I am not passing judgment on that, but an inevitable consequence is that it limits the range of industry prepared to come to the city.
The next objection I received was that leases were too restrictive, in the sense that they limited the use of the site to one particular industry, and, therefore, a change of user was not automatic. It was not a general usage for industrial purposes, but a particular usage irrespective of whether the industry was light, medium or heavy. That is a further restriction.
The next objection was that rents charged were, in the words of my informant, "top whack", and there were rent reviews every seven years.
Another objection was that industrial and domestic rates were uncompetitively high, in many instances twice as high as some of Sheffield's competitors.
But the biggest obstacle of all—this was repeated throughout my series of inquiries and frequently emphasised—was that town planning procedures at local authority level were a major obstacle. There were indecisions, delays, postponements, and meticulous and tedious details which had to be settled in advance, to such an extent that the game was not worth the candle. These are important factors. One should know that this is the reaction of the prospective industrialists to the structure of organisation.
91 It is not my intention to be critical. My intention is to be constructive and to pass information to the House which I have been given and which may be helpful in dealing with industry in future. There is no point in running away from the problems. If constant inquiry is not made on a give-and-take basis between industrialists and the city and the city and industrialists to find out what is needed, a constant two-way traffic of ideas, we shall never improve ourselves and attract the industry which we need.
Another area which was touched upon in my inquiries was how we could get more badly needed service industry in Sheffield. Hon. Members have mentioned in earlier speeches, and it has been represented to me, that it would be advantageous if the local authority had a more direct and better publicised policy of land use planning. The example has been given that it should designate, near the city centre, an area specifically for white-collar jobs, not necessarily in the service industry, which in the classification, though service, would in most instances bring industrial problems. That would mean that one would know in advance that a specific area of the city convenient to the city centre had been designated and that town planning permission would be forthcoming for new and expanding service enterprises. That would be a major step forward.
We have done it in a small way. In Sheffield we have designated a site which we hope and believe will be a solidly-based scheme. I refer to the new headquarters for the South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council. If this justifiable bid comes off, why not expand it? Why not expand that idea to cover service industry in the area?
My final topic is the small firm. Throughout the whole of the Yorkshire and Humberside region, small firms play a great part—I believe a dynamic part—in the economy of the region. It would be to our advantage to increase the small firms' opportunities and thereby increase the job opportunities which the small firms will in turn create. The Government realise that and also realise the part the small firms play in the economy of the region. The Bolton Report recommendations will be welcomed by hon. Members on both sides 92 and by the Yorkshire and Humberside Economic Planning Association.
The small firms are responsible for a high proportion of job opportunities. No opportunity should be lost to encourage the growth of the small firm. I mention in particular the Industrial Liaison Officer Service. It is possible that we may have a small firms' advice bureau, but I hope that the advice bureau will not be in replacement of the Industrial Liaison Officer Service. Sheffield has an energetically run Liaison Officer Service which is of real value and which offers a real service. It is well run and controlled, and is in competent hands. First, we should build on it. Secondly, we should not limit the Industrial Liaison Officer Service to the manufacturing industry. That division is too artificial. It should be extended to include the service industry. This policy relating to the small firms, properly and carefully handled, can be of great benefit to the region.
In conclusion, the Government policies which have been announced by the Minister are on the right lines. My right hon. Friend's policies will obtain, if operated quickly, the desired improvement in the region's prospects.
§ 6.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Thomas Torney (Bradford, South)
First, I shall explain to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Spence), who has now left the Chamber, why this debate is controversial and why it will have a three-line Whip vote. Possibly hon. Members opposite will find my explanation difficult to understand because of their lack of experience of people who work in industry at shop-floor level. The greatest indignity a man can suffer is to find himself unable to earn, by the sweat of his brow, his daily bread for himself and his family. That is one vital point.
The other reason for this controversy and for the three-line Whip vote is something which the Minister in his opening speech seemed to forget. He endeavoured to suggest that the deplorable economic situation in Yorkshire and other parts of the country was in some measure due to the previous Administration. That is what he hinted.
Perhaps the Minister and other right hon. and hon. Members opposite, particularly the hon. Member for Sheffield 93 Heeley, have forgotten that the policy recently being followed by the Government was certainly not the policy they followed when first elected to power. On their election they were telling industry, not only in Yorkshire but in Britain as a whole, that only the strongest could survive, that there was no Government help to be expected. I refer to the "lame duck" policy pursued by the Government, which is now dead.
§ Mr. Torney
I did not notice the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley, who is trying to intervene, being politically in opposition to that policy. However, he now says that the present policy which the Government are following is the right one, although it is completely different from the one which the Government followed when they first came to power.
§ Mr. Spence
I thank the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) for allowing me to intervene. May I ask him whether he is aware of the statement made by the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1965 when he was speaking about the situation in the regions which the Labour Government inherited—the regions from the previous Conservative Government? He saidwere absolutely booming ahead. I am glad to say Scotland, the North-East, the North-West and Wales are all going fine, investment going ahead very fast"Are those not the facts?
§ Mr. Torney
I thank the hon. Gentleman for mentioning that matter. That brings me to my next point, which was conveniently forgotten by the Minister when he spoke at the beginning of the debate.
Unlike the present Administration, the previous Administration took power at a time when the country had its back economically, to the wall. That situation was the responsibility of past Tory Governments. The last Labour Government had to deal with a difficult economic situation in Yorkshire and other parts of the country at a time when they were struggling economically to survive, due to the adverse balance of payments situation which they inherited. The Labour Government passed on to the present Government a healthy balance of payments situation. At the beginning of the present 94 Government's administration, having inherited that situation, they should have been able to help such regions as Yorkshire. What did we see? We saw the sweeping away of regional policies, which they have now had to readopt.
The City of Bradford has a very serious unemployment situation. There has been brief reference this afternoon to the wool and textile industry, which is now trying to modernise in line with the Atkins Report. I am bold enough to say that the bosses of that industry could hardly be termed supporters of the Labour Party. I am certain that among the bosses of the textile industry we should find mainly supporters of the Tory Party and, therefore, of this Government. Yet over the years that industry, which is one of Britain's oldest industries, has failed to modernise. Now, in order to bring it up to an efficient state so that it is capable of competing with other nations, it has to be compressed. What do we find? We find tremendous redundancies, mill closures, and so on.
In common with other industries, mergers take place in the wool and textile industry. What happens when mergers take place? I realise that in many instances it means some efficiency, but it also means a considerable increase in the dividends which go into the bosses' pockets. In addition, it means that many thousands of my fellow workers are thrown on to the scrap heap of industry with little hope of finding jobs.
§ Mr. Torney
I will not give way again, because many of my hon. Friends are waiting to speak.
The situation in the wool and textile industry in Bradford is deplorable. There is 6.9 per cent. unemployment among men in that industry. Bradford's problem is male unemployment. That is an important aspect of employment, or unemployment, because the man is the breadwinner. Therefore, it is important to take action which will improve the situation.
When the Labour Government left office there was only 4 per cent. unemployment. Now it is nearly 7 per cent. In Bradford as a whole, not just in the wool and textile industry, there is 6 per cent. male unemployment. In 1970 the figure was 3.4 per cent. That is a large 95 percentage increase in male unemployment in Bradford, particularly in the wool textile industry.
The wool textile industry is contracting and will contract even more. It is no use talking about what we can do to improve employment in that industry as such. We must talk in terms of introducing new industry into Bradford and other parts of Yorkshire.
What kind of success are we having in that direction? My hon. Friends are pointing to the time, but I must make this important point. There is great fear in the hearts of people in Bradford. The other fall-back industry which used to exist when textiles were in decline was engineering. One large employer of labour in the engineering industry in Bradford is English Electric or GEC—another great merger. This is another industry the bosses of which could hardly be termed Socialists. This large factory employs a great number of people, particularly men. The workers are very worried. Over the weekend shop stewards from the factory made representations imploring me to raise this very point.
The works side of this factory has been on a three- or four-day week for a considerable time. Only last week did it go back to a five-day week. The workers are very pleased about that, but the shop stewards put it to me in this way: "Tom, we do not know how long this situation will last. From the activities of, and the discussions we have had with, the management, we expect to go back on short time in the near future. "I ask the Government to give some guarantee to these workers in Bradford. In a recent article The Guardiansaid that this was the best managed company in Britain and that the profits expected this year were in the region of £89 million. Let some of that profit be expended on ensuring that more workers are kept in employment.
I was also approached by the staff side of this firm over the weekend. I was told that redundancies are continuing and that the management refuses to discuss better arrangements for redundancies with representatives of the staff. If the Government are determined to show concern for Yorkshire, this is the situation with which they should be dealing. If the Minister for Industrial Development is to be the co-ordinator for better industry 96 and employment situations, he should tell this firm that it is time it discussed redundancies with the workers' representatives and did something to ensure full employment for the workers on the shop floor in an area where there is a tremendously high unemployment rate.
§ 6.37 p.m.
§ Mr. Wilfred Proud foot (Brighouse and Spenborough)
I cannot follow the hon. Member for Bradford. South (Mr. Torney)—
§ Mr. Proudfoot
The hon. Gentleman seems to think that there is some connection between a man's politics, if he is the director of a firm, and what he does in the market place.
§ Mr. Proudfoot
How foolish can the hon. Gentleman be? GEC is in business to make profits. I will tell hon. Gentlemen what is done with profits when they are obtained; they are reinvested to make still more profits. That is something which the Labour Government left firms unable to do. Firms were left with insufficient profits. It is only from profits that this country has been built up. Private enterprise did it before and will do it again. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) has made his speech. He must not make another.
§ Mr. Proudfoot
I sometimes think that hon. Gentlemen opposite are the begetters of lame ducks. I will explain what I mean.
I was the Member for a constituency which formed part of the North-East. Many hon. Gentlemen opposite come from a successful part of the country—the Yorkshire and Humberside region. This factor of industrial life is new to them.
I have lived in distressed areas and development areas the whole of my life. To come to the constituency which I now represent with virtually full employment was quite an eye opener. I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite not to follow the trend to which they are speaking today. 97 If they do, they will do the whole of Yorkshire the greatest disservice.
I was born in Durham. There has been 50 years of Socialist local government there, 50 years of rending the hair, tearing the sackcloth and rubbing the ashes into themselves. When I went into the forces every man I met thought that I was born among the pit heaps. To illustrate how silly it is to cry "stinking fish" about one's own area, I should point out that when I first went into Wales over the Severn Bridge I was amazed to see that the grass was green because, having been in this House before, I had so often heard Welsh Labour Members decry their own parts of the country. I cannot agree with hon. Members in wanting to do that.
Yorkshire has a great future. Neither the Labour Government nor the Conservative Government have succeeded with a regional development policy. I doubt whether any country has except Russia, where people are sent to Siberia at the point of a bayonet. Here no one even asks that there should be direction of labour.
Millions of pounds have been poured into these areas. When the Labour Government came to power in 1964 the Hailsham Report was being implemented. When the Labour Government left office unemployment in the North-East was higher. There are lessons to be learned. The North-East now has its infrastructure right. I believe that it will be the first of the areas to come right, because of the action of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in taking up the Hailsham Report.
The infrastructure in Yorkshire is now being put right. The North-East, Scotland and Wales all rely on heavy industry, whereas Yorkshire has a multiplicity of industries. I meet people from other parts of the country who think that Brig-house and Spenborough is where all the wool comes from. Those who say that to me in Yorkshire do not know enough about their own county. Thirty per cent. of the 440 factories in my division provide goods or parts or pieces for the motor car industry. The whole thing has been going through a dynamic change. It is mere pretence to say that the whole of this great region will have a miserable future.
98 It is a vastly improved area, due to the efforts of both parties and to local politicians. The first time I drove through the division, on my way to the Conservative Party conference at Blackpool, I noticed that the grass was black. Today it is green. One is absolutely amazed, going along the unopened part of the M62, to see the changes which have been wrought in this area in the middle of Yorkshire where people thought in terms of industrial bric-a-brac. Spenborough Council has done excellent work in clearing away some of the old industrial rubbish. Brighouse secured grants in order to get rid of old disused factory chimneys.
In the constituency of the hon. Lady the Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) I met a man who idolised his "beautiful" chimney; he did not want to get rid of it because it had a crown on top of it. The chimney is probably still there. Money is available to the extent of 75 per cent. of the cost, to get rid of old chimneys. This process is well on the way in Brighouse. The cleaning-up campaign in Yorkshire and Humberside matters.
The Bolton Committee matters, too, in the Yorkshire context. The 440 factories in my constituency are run by enterprising, tough, competitive people who are great characters. The man who started the largest factory in the constituency, the factory which is the largest employer of labour there, is still alive today. The quality of life in this area is very different from that obtaining in areas where there are huge factories employing 10,000people. Here the people know each other and there is little labour trouble. There is much that we have to thank the Government for for encouraging small firms by implementing the Bolton Report.
In his Budget my right hon. Friend the Chancellor made it possible for businesses to have 100 per cent. depreciation on equipment—in other words, free depreciation. Hon. Members opposite have made great play of how dynamic nationalised industries are and how terrible it is that fewer people will be employed in coalmining, in the steel industry and on the railways. The great National Plan produced by George Brown boasted how few people would be required in those very industries, and the figures there stated still stand.
99 Hon. Members sometimes say with great sorrow that 5,000 workers, perhaps, may lose their jobs in a works. Often, strict analysis shows that the figures are not as harsh as they sound, in that many people will be leaving the job and many others retiring in any event.
Yorkshire had the great advantage of being one of the first areas to use natural gas in industry.
I was amazed at the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) being able to avoid making any reference to the Common Market. He and I share a common enthusiasm for that great thing which is to happen on 1st January next. However, I will not seek to embarrass the right hon. Gentleman politically. I see a number of hon. Members opposite who are Common Market enthusiasts. If we from the region are to be totally honest with each other across the Floor of the House, we should all admit that it is right that Britain should go into Europe. The local economic planning committee, having gone into the matter in great detail, has said so. The prospects for most of our industries are excellent.
The Hailsham Plan for the North-East was based virtually on new roads. Yorkshire will soon have a network of modern motorways. Two parts of the M62 are already open. I am sorry that the middle section, part of which is in my constituency, has been delayed. I am also sorry about the upheaval which the building of the motorway causes.
The biggest service area on the motorway is to be smack in the middle of my division. When I was elected for this division, immediately I discovered that the Ross group of companies was to get this service area I took steps to ascertain that it would mean 300 jobs in my constituency. Those jobs will be very welcome. The fact that they are 300 service jobs is even more welcome.
Neither the Labour Government nor the Tory Government succeeded in getting labour-intensive industry to move. In the North-East marvellous roads have been built and there has been some in credible modern industry at a cost of many millions of pounds of public money, but it is capital-intensive, not labour-intensive.
100 I urge Ministers to press on with road improvement, because that is what will help the region most. We want the M62 to go right to the docks. We want also the "leisure roads" which were to come under the old plan in the days of the Macmillan Government. Let us not give the impression that we are so grim in the West Riding that we never play. We want access to the coasts. I hope that the bypasses for Tadcaster, Malton and York will be pressed ahead with. Tourism is growing in the whole area.
I press that the road from the M62 between Leeds and Bradford to join up with the A1 near Harrogate is accorded high priority, as with the road from Bradford to Skipton. Many hon. Members will doubtless mention the Sheffield motorway. These are the vital matters that Yorkshire needs
I am amazed that hon. Members from the Sheffield area have not mentioned the push to modernise our canals. The Common Market, with its standard barges and its method of popping barges on to larger ships, has, I believe, practical implications for the region. I urge the Government to do all they can to increase the size of our own barges. If we can get the roads and communications we need, I am convinced that we can look after ourselves.
§ Mr. Harold Walker (Doncaster)
I am disappointed that the hon. Gentleman is apparently sitting down, because I was hoping that he would give the same advice to our unemployed as he offered to the unemployed of the North-East when he addressed the Young Conservatives earlier this year at Fylde. According to the Tees-side Evening Gazette, he suggested that the unemployed of the North-East should set themselves up in business as a cure for unemployment.
§ Mr. Proudfoot
There was nothing wrong in that remark. The first time I am able to put down a Private Member's Motion in the House, I will talk about Kelso, who, I think, will make Karl Marx look out of date. Kelso is an American who believes that this can be done, that one can give people a second income by making them loans so that they can invest. This has in fact been going on. It has been done here by the Rural Industries Board, and in the 101 United States the Small Business Administration has been set up to do it. There are certainly possibilities in such a scheme, and if bright young people stay in any of these areas the prospects for that area are certainly brighter.
§ 6.51 p.m.
§ Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu (Huddersfield, East)
There was at least one thing which the hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. Proudfoot) said with which I agree—that it would be totally wrong to exaggerate the problems with which our area is faced.
It is clear that some of our old major basic industries are contracting, and that is cause for concern. But it is not cause for panic. One of the major industries in my area is the fine worsted industry. I believe that if it carries on with its reorganisation, if it does not scream itself into decline as its sister industry in Lancashire was continually doing, it will have a bright future. But there is one aspect which the Government should watch, and this is the import of yarn. At present a great deal of yarn is coming in very cheaply from Japan, and there is some danger that our own yarn producers will be undercut and put out of business and that we shall be left at the mercy of imported yarn at prices we could not possibly control.
I am concerned about the lack of new industries and worried by the statement of the Minister that he thought that the possibility of getting new jobs from new industry was very slight. I do not believe that. But I do believe that there are some difficulties at present about attracting new industries, especially in the textile areas around Huddersfield and elsewhere. One of these difficulties on the spurs of the Pennines, is finding sites which are both available and level. Another difficulty is the image of Yorkshire as being black and bleak and scarred. That was never true of the greater part of the county, as people in Scandinavia, on the Continent and even in the more backward areas of the South of England are beginning to learn, thanks to the tremendous job which the Yorkshire Travel Association is doing. But it is a fact that in some parts of our area we have this difficulty about sites and about the environment.
These two problems could in part be solved by the same action. We have a 102 large amount of land under-used. A great deal of it is owned by British Railways, such as old sidings, old railway stations—which are eyesores if I have ever seen one—and disused marshalling yards, all of which could provide perfectly good sites, in some cases for housing and in others for new industry. Yet, because the decisions of British Railways are always taken in London and take a very long time to come by, these sites are being left unused.
Another type of site is being wasted—the pit heaps. They could be used. What is more, the material on them could be used to fill in what is at present derelict land and bring that back into use. Yet one of the most stupid things which both Governments have done is to put rates on these pit heaps when they begin to be worked, with the result that the cost of the materials is beginning to rise.
§ Miss Joan Hall (Keighley)
What the hon. Gentleman is suggesting for pit heaps is already happening. Many of them are being used for the new M62 and are proving good for the job.
§ Mr. Mallalieu
Of course the material is being used. It can also be used for new airports. If we have the new airport at Foulness we can use 200 million tons of the stuff, with great benefit to all concerned. But the shortage of land can be dealt with if the railways release their land and if the land which is at present derelict can be brought into use by being filled in.
Another aspect of life in the industrial part of the West Riding is pollution of the air—an aspect of pollution to which Mr. Anthony Howard, the toothless wonder of Great Turnstile, might possibly direct his attention. We have still a lot of dirt in our air, and we shall have domestic dirt pouring out into it until there is enough smokeless fuel to extend the smokeless zones. But there is also industrial pollution. We have in Huddersfield a major chemical works. We want it there, it provides employment for the town, and it is of great benefit to the country as a whole; but it sends out noxious fumes. I was informed the other day that one-third of the capital cost of installing a new plant was directed towards cutting out the fumes, and this cost affects the plant's competitive position. I suggest, therefore, that grants 103 should be available to firms like ICI which will use the money to stop the pollution which comes from their processes.
I have, then, three questions to put to the Government. First, will they look at the question of yarn imports for the fine textile industry? Secondly, will they reconsider the rating of pit heaps when they are being worked? Thirdly, will they look at the possibility of grants to firms which will use the money to stop pollution from their processes?
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Joseph Hiley (Pudsey)
I was afraid that this debate would become as uninteresting as most other debates, particularly when there are so many hon. Members speaking from a narrow, parochial, constituency angle. When we consider the astronomical sums of money that have passed to Scotland as a result of constituency activity—perpetual grumbling—we ought not, perhaps, to be surprised that we in Yorkshire are tempted to follow their example. They think they can gain something, but I believe that if those who have been relying for so long on Government aid were prepared to stand on their own feet they would now be able to face the competitive world. I hope that this Yorkshire lobby will not be one which is concerned merely with grumbling and grousing, such as we have seen from Scotland and, to a lesser extent, from Wales in the last 10 to 15 years.
Singularly few constructive proposals have been made in the debate, and I have heard every word. I felt that many hon. Members would refer to the uncertainty of the Leeds-Bradford airport. I confess that I approach this problem entirely from a constituency angle. The airport is in my constituency and I feel it is my duty to tell the House that large numbers of my constituents, particularly those who live close to the airport, were complaining very bitterly. They succeeded in persuading the inquiry that the noise was beyond what was reasonable. As one who has a close personal interest as well as a constituency interest, I felt that I ought to abide by the decision of the inquiry, and that is, unfortunately, where matters stand. It is not good enough, and if the Government are not prepared 104 to take the initiative, if they are not able to satisfy the inquiry or my constituents that an airport can be run without disturbance, they ought to find an airport site elsewhere. We shall never make progress in Yorkshire until we have the advantage of an airport.
§ Mr. Hiley
I emphasise the constituency approach.
I approach the next problem rather differently and this is the principal one. When I first came to this House 10 or 12 years ago there was virtually full employment. There was high demand. The only hope for an industry that wanted to expand was to go elsewhere where it could find labour. This was a personal problem for me because it was part of my job before I came here to do just that. Hon. Members opposite ought to know this because I do not think that any of them have ever faced this as a personal problem. The considerations for deciding where an additional factory is to be established are not the same as those dealt with by various Government incentives. If a firm wishes to move, lock stock and barrel, to another area, the problem is rather different and. I think, easier. Most of the problems, particularly with expansionist firms, arise with geography, water, hereditary skills and many other matters which, in my company's case, ultimately forced us not to go to a development area but instead to go to an area which could provide us with the things necessary for our expansion.
Today there is no full employment, no high demand. In the meantime firms have been concentrating on methods by which they can reduce the demand for labour. Things started going wrong in 1965–66. In the following six years we had a very expensive Government, with high taxation, and now we have unemployment which is too high. Hon. Members seem to think that all that has to be done is to build a factory in a development or intermediate area, fill it with new machinery and then send out circulars saying "We are read to accept orders." It does not work like that, I know. I doubt whether anyone opposite does know from personal experience. Wise 105 management must hesitate before making extensive investment. There is an old adage "Stick to your bush." It would not be a bad idea if some of us thought about this because even with this retraining there is no doubt that the man or woman who has spent a lifetime doing a certain job is likely to know it better than any new skill, particularly when they may have been reluctant to train for that new job.
The problem in Yorkshire and Humberside is aggravated by pit closures. Here I refer to the constructive proposal made by the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling). With his great knowledge of the mining industry he said that work should continue in these pits. I had been intending to raise this point, as a result of reading Lord Robens' autobiography, in which he severely criticised the last Administration for closing down the pits too quickly and, I believe he said, too radically. The right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) has no doubt read the book because he is one of the characters in it.
Would it not be wise to employ these men, who are on the spot, in a mine which may not be able to provide the same sort of high wages as they would get in a good modern pit? This is our only source of natural wealth. Why cannot we take it out of the pits and make up the wages in some way, rather than pay it out on the dole? Hon. Members opposite cannot say that this is encouraging low wages because as it is a nationalised industry it merely means that we are trying to put into one pocket what might have been in the other.
There is a great danger in widening the regions. Obviously, there are diminishing advantages in so doing, and at the same time the costs of administration are increased. I refer to this as the theory of the soap box. One Saturday afternoon everyone goes to a football match in the normal way, but one bright fellow decides that the next week he will take a soap box on which to stand. He does so, but ultimately finds that everyone else has taken a soap box.
That is what we have been doing with intermediate and development areas. Everyone is clamouring for the advantages of development area or intermediate area status, and in the end when everyone has a soap box we shall be precisely 106 where we were, but the State will be suffering huge administrative costs. We have to watch that we are not merely transferring unemployment from one area to another. I hope that the soap box theory helps hon. Members to understand the problem. I do not expect anything useful to come out of this debate.
Yorkshire folks are used to getting on with the job. We do not want to be a nation of form fillers. There has been far too much of form filling, and those who have been most successful at it are those who have known how to fill in the forms, as we were told only a few days ago. If we are looking for a more prosperous future for Yorkshire we can rely mainly on the guts and the grit of Yorkshiremen, and the more the Government stay out of it the better it will be.
§ 7.10 p.m.
§ Mr. John Prescott (Kingston upon Hull, East)
I want to address my remarks to two aspects and in particular the one about the ports and docks industry which is specifically mentioned in the Motion. Before coming to that I would like to make one or two points about the problems which arise particularly in my own constituency in Hull and on Humberside itself. They are economic problems relating directly to the ports. I would also refer to some of the policies pursued by successive Governments.
Hull's economic problems have been made the more difficult by a certain amount of conflict between various Government policies and also because of a certain amount of uncertainty which has been bred by decisions being made nationally, whether decisions on whether a Humber bridge should be built, decisions about ports policy, roads or whether a Channel Tunnel should be developed in the South-East. All these things have had a major effect on the problems of Humberside, and they have been matters on which there has not been much control which could be exercised by the people locally.
Nevertheless it is an area which, as one would expect, has all the assets of economic advantage, such as an excess of land and labour and, of course, of water, and yet at the same time it has a tremendously high level of unemployment. At the moment unemployment is 107 more serious on the northern bank of the Humber than it is on the southern side. On the northern side it is at a level of over 10,000 which, in the official figures, comes out at near 4.3 per cent., compared with the United Kingdom figure of 3.8 per cent. One of the difficulties in trying to put this problem across is that in all the arguments about employment and unemployment the figures are all wrapped in percentages which disguise the real nature of the problem of employment.
There has been a great amount of migration from the area, and about that one always hears the arguments about low wages and the non-availability of work. One feels annoyed when one hears people talk, as the Minister was talking earlier, of people leaving the area because of low wage levels, Hull having an average of £3 per week less than the United Kingdom average. The real male unemployment level is about 8 per cent. or 9 per cent. There are 17 men fighting for every one job. Vacancies are falling, redundancies are increasing. Something like 2,200 have been made redundant in the last two years in my area, and there alone this week 400 people have been made redundant at BOCM.
Primarily, the management emphasise, it is the essence of the operation to make a profit. That may be the remit to the management, but it is our responsibility to be concerned about unemployment, and if the motive power of profit does not produce the right answer we have to look elsewhere for it.
In Hull, jobs for women are increasing but not jobs for men. Road programmes began to improve not only in the last two years but in the last few years. This has been confirmed now by the project of the Humber Bridge with the road network up to it. That is very important.
I do not have time now to argue the point at length, but it is my opinion that the various policies pursued, whether for intermediate areas or development areas, with the idea that we encourage incentives through money to get industry to move into those areas, have been increasingly failing. There are various reports which show this. I was surprised that the mobile industries to which the Minister referred produce only some 108 30,000 jobs. That is appalling to Humberside and to the whole Yorkshire area. It confirms to me that mobile industries in the private sector will never be able to produce a sufficient number of jobs to overcome unemployment. The private sector will never be able to do it. Therefore it is up to the public sector and it is to that sector that we shall have to look for expansion.
I know that there are many more things to be said about it, but in the limited time we have now one cannot go into all of them. I do not agree with many of the policies put forward by the various planning boards. They seem to say that we have always to make ourselves more friendly, to go out of our way to encourage industry to come in, to make housing much better so that people coming from the South can expect the same sort of standards when they come up to our area and to make our cultural amenities better, and they say that our wages are too low.
This is a kind of servility and touching of the forelock, and I personally reject it. This sort of servility cannot be reconciled with the important right to work. There is a right to work, and rights have never been gained by getting down on one's knees and grovelling in asking for jobs. We have to fight for them and, quite honestly, it is that spirit which I would support to bring about an improvement in our situation. The private sector has failed and, as I say, it is the public sector to which we must look to improve the situation, be it an expansion of nationalised industries in our area, or the Humber Bridge, with use of United Kingdom labour, or by Hull Corporation developing certain reclamation schemes with 75 per cent. Government grants for the old docks.
§ Mr. McNamara
Is my hon. Friend aware that when he talks of the corporation doing the work of reclamation he takes us back to the earlier part of his speech and decision making being donecentrally, and that Hull Corporation has been waiting for a long time for a decision from the Government on its application for a grant to reclaim the old town docks system in our constituencies?
§ Mr. Prescott
It is of importance to Humberside and we hope that we can get a decision about this. It would create more jobs for us 109 That brings me to the Humberside port complex. Humberside has a very important ports complex. Grimsby, Immingham, Goole and Hull form a kind of Rotterdam complex. It is a very important docks complex which can contribute to regional development. It represents a capital investment of over £55 million and in the last four or five years £25 million has been invested in communications, roads and waterways. Incidentally, the indecision by the Government in the matter of the waterways industry makes life very uncertain for the future of this industry in the Humberside complex.
What is even more important is to recognise that Government policy towards the ports is creating very real problems. It is posing problems which the ports cannot solve. For example, it requires the ports to make a profit. We have heard a lot about the profit motive lately. The Government require a financial return of from 10 per cent. to 20 per cent. on investment. They say there will be no subsidies for the port industry; the ports will be regarded as lame ducks if they do not make a profit. The Government do not seem to have taken into account the Touche Ross accountancy report which showed what the ports' competitors on the Continent have been able to do, where capital charges, rates and so on, are not made a full charge on the ports. If that had been applied to British ports the charges would have been reduced by 50 per cent.
All this presents a real problem of cash flow for our ports in the sense that they are not able to raise money and they have not the assets on which to raise loans. The only way they can raise money for capital is to increase charges, and the charges in Hull alone have been increased by over 50 per cent. A large part of the charges represents interest and in Hull alone represents over £1 million of interest charges. They are inevitable to meet the tremendous amount of capital development. In 1963, 21 per cent. of every £1 earned was a charge to interest in the income for the port. In 1972 this had increased to 42 per cent. It is a tremendous amount of money and causes losses to be made by the port. On balance, interest charges are so great that they force losses, and yet the Government say that the ports must make a profit or 110 must go out of business, and they are not prepared to assist.
What the Government do not understand is the revolution in shipping whereby the contents of many ships from Rotterham are transhipped into smaller ships in the Humber which go to the smaller ports down the river. There are more than 16 small ports on the Humber which employ unregistered labour and pay about £18 a week basic wage. To unload one ton of grain in Hull cost 60p; to do so in one of the small ports costs 17½p. The charge for a 1,000-ton coaster coming into Hull, irrespective of labour charges, is £345, whereas at a little wharf river charges and berthing are only £50. It is impossible to compete under those conditions.
The trade to Selby has increased considerably, and this is shown by the fact that in 1968 677 ships went into Selby whereas now 1,748 ships go into Selby—an increase of 40 per cent. per annum. According to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton), Minister for Transport Industries, the Government's answer is:The crucial test by which a port's future will be determined is the service it offers to shipowners and users. A shipowner is not nowadays tied to a particular port; he is, like a housewife, choosing the shop which the best value, free to go to the port which suits him best.The Minister for Transport Industries said that at the annual luncheon of the British Shippers' Council. The Government's policy is to shop around.
The consequence is that the port authorities are forced to look wherever they can to cut their costs. What will happen in Hull is that, because of the traffic which is going down to the small ports, the Albert and William Wright Docks, which specialised in this trade and in which £4 million has been spent, will have to be closed. This will mean redundancy for 300 workers and will affect the ship repairing facilities in which a great deal of investment—over £130,000—has been made by shipbuiding companies employing 200 people, thus causing further redundancies in the port's service facilities.
Action is required now for a decision on a Humber MIDAS scheme. The Government must consider a grant for 111 the reclamation of the old town dock centre. They must allow the State sector to expand its industrial activities. The port policy should be seen as a public link system and not a competitive system, and the social costs must be taken into account. The small ports should be taken into the port transport definition and registration or forced out of operation.
§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Sir Donald Kaberry (Leeds, North-West)
As the hour is getting on I shall seek briefly to make just four or five points. I disagree with the opening remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Mr. Hiley). I thought the debate so far had been constructive. I am sure many hon. Members are seeking to put forward points for the betterment of Yorkshire generally, politics apart.
Apart from a slight physical difficulty I should always be prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) in defence of Yorkshire and in claiming as much as possible of anything that is going for nothing—that is, if anything goes for nothing today. I pay tribute to the right hon. Member for the way in which he opened the debate. I thought he was about to move the Amendment rather than the Motion. Perhaps he would like to put that right later since I am not sure that the Amendment has not yet been moved. He was generous enough to concede that the unemployment difficulties first arose five years ago during the time of his own Government. The troubles affecting Yorkshire and Humberside today are not all the fault of the Government of the last two years; they had a lot of left-overs to deal with and they are dealing with them.
Speaking as a Member representing one-sixth of the City of Leeds, I can say that the peak period of employment in Leeds was in 1964 when more than 278.000 people were employed in the city. From then on there has been a gradual decline until by 1970 the figure had dropped to below the figure of unemployment in 1950—to 254,000. That represents a bigger drop than in any other comparable city or borough.
That drop was brought about by a combination of circumstances. We were 112 not in a development area. Labour was being seduced away by promises of employment in development areas. Employers were being asked to go into development areas to reap the benefits which were available to them there. There was the difficulty of getting industrial development certificates. All these difficulties were cumulative and, at the same time, there was a shift in the pattern of employment in the city. What was once preponderantly a manufacturing city became a servicing city. In 1961 the employment in manufacturing industries was 49 per cent.; in 1970 this had dropped to 43 per cent. In the services, employment increased from 44 per cent. in 1961 to 50 per cent. in 1970. The difficulty is to attract new manufacturing industries into a city where there is an apparent decline, where the pattern of employment and people's habits have changed and where the way of life has changed.
I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Minister and the Government on doing what the former Government did not do. The Labour Government appointed the Hunt Committee but did not follow its recommendations. I am sorry that the right hon. Member for Barnsley did not pay greater tribute to the Government for making the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside into an intermediate area with all the consequential grants flowing from it.
In Yorkshire or Humberside one had to be careful a year or two ago to squeeze the required extension or new building into an area of 10,000 sq. ft. so as not to have to go through the process of getting an IDC with all the risks attendant on it. Now the maximum is lifted to 15,000 sq. ft. which makes a big difference.
Leeds has been fortunate in having diversification away from clothing, engineering and textiles and we have been able to keep pace with the development. Leeds has set itself out to be a city which offers regional functions and provides commercial, administrative and cultural services for a wide conurbation.
I come now to the development of the whole area. Modern roads are essential The development of the M62 running right across the county is excellent. Anyone who has travelled on it, although it is only partly constructed, must admire the engineering skill and all the work that has gone to create it. This motorway 113 will open up a great avenue of traffic from Liverpool across to Hull and will link with the M1. There will have to be more grants for roads, and I should like to exercise a Yorkshireman's prerogative by pushing my right hon. Friend, the Minister a little more and asking him to move a little more quickly in many of the road schemes in Yorkshire.
Many Yorkshire folk, especially those from the West Riding, like to go to the North-East coast, and to the Yorkshire coast in particular. Scarborough is a great watering place but it is a difficult place to get to. We have been promised a bypass for York, Malton and Tadcaster, and I should like to ask for the process to be speeded up and for all the objections to be dealt with. [Interruption.] I am reminded by my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) that I should have included Beverley. I hope that the whole road scheme can be speeded up.
On the question of modernisation of buildings, the grants which are now being made available will speed up the reconstruction and redevelopment of industrial premises and I hope that this will lead to some new building. These are expensive matters and are not particularly easy to organise, and many firms have held back because of the expense. However, I know of many firms which are now going ahead in the light of promises of grants.
On the general question of assistance to industry and trade in the area, it must be recognised that these and other matters are very much connected with what happens in the rest of the country. The country's prosperity is Yorkshire's prosperity just as Yorkshire's prosperity is very much bound up with the prosperity of other areas. We must examine the broad picture which involves the budgetary aid which can be given and the lowering of taxation which we have already seen as a result of the Budget.
I hope that there are more aids to come. I hope that greater assistance will be given to the hundreds of small businesses which are spread across the whole of the Yorkshire and Humberside areas. It is the home of the small businessman. The concept of the small business was created in the Pennines and it is from these small units that many larger firms were finally formed. I hope we shall see 114 greater concessions to small business in the future.
I should like to say a few words about a subject from which I do not shrink, even though it is on the doorstep of my constituency. I refer to the provision of a regional airport for the area. I have within a mile of my constituency boundary the Leeds-Bradford airport. My house used to be in the track of the old runway; fortunately the track has been changed and the airstrip now takes a different angle. I have never objected to the noise which has been created—indeed it is sometimes like music to my ears. It means that people are being employed, that people are going to foreign places. It means that foreign businessmen are bringing business to Yorkshire and that Yorkshire businessmen are going abroad to get business for Yorkshire. These are important matters to me and on those grounds I do not dislike the noise. However, there are about 18,000 people living in houses near to the airport who do not like the noise.
A public inquiry was held under the auspices of the Labour Government, and the inspector made a report as a result of which the present Secretary of State for the Environment held that the runway should not be extended by a distance of 600 yards. From that moment onwards I, like many other hon. Members, have received letters controversial in nature from those who support an extension and from those who are against it. It must be appreciated that the initiative rests not with the Minister but with the local authorities which run and control the airport. It is for them to make up their minds about whether they wish to apply or to reapply for an extension. An eminent firm of consultants examined 40 sites, ended up by rejecting 36 of them and reduced the final number to four. That firm dismissed the Leeds-Bradford airport as ever being capable of becoming a regional airport and came down in favour of a place which some of us had never heard of before.
These facts are now before the Secretary of State. Some of us have pressed—it must be said that we have pressed unsuccessfully—for a long time for a national airports policy, and the British Airports Authority has dodged the issue. The question that must be asked is whether Yorkshire requires a regional 115 airport. Some Minister must soon make a decision, and having reached a decision we shall require a statement on national policy. Even the strongest advocates of the development of the Leeds-Bradford airport have never asked more than that it should be used as a feeder service, but it cannot be so used unless there is a 600-yard extension of its runways, otherwise modern aircraft will not be able to use it. There are many other difficulties related to a decision on this matter, but these will take a great deal more time to recount.
Having read the last two lines of the Opposition Motion, I join my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey in asking "What kind of people do the Opposition think Yorkshire folk are?" We are not here with our begging bowls. We are not here to beg for mercy or to ask for love and kisses from the Government. We want our fair share of what is going, but once we get it we shall show grim determination in beating the lot of them.
§ 7.39 p.m.
§ Sir Alfred Broughton (Batley and Morley)
I agree with a good deal of the remarks made by the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Sir D. Kaberry). He and I are united in our strong desire to do all we possibly can to assist the prosperity of Yorkshire and to work for the well-being of its people.
Every schoolchild knows that Yorkshire is the largest county in England and has within its boundaries a great variety of trades and industries. My right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) reminded us in an excellent speech that for a long time our county has been renowned for its coal, steel and textile industries. These, together with many other industries of smaller size, have contributed to the wealth of England.
In recent times productivity in the county has undergone considerable changes, the chief of which has been a certain amount of decline in those products for which it has been most renowned. My right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley spoke about pit closures and the rundown of the coal industry. My right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling) referred to the lower output of steel. 116 Other hon. Members have dealt with their various constituency problems. I wish to speak about textiles because the manufacture of heavy woollen cloth is, or was, the staple industry of my constituency. Unfortunately, that industry has diminished in size in recent years.
In passing, I ought to point out that the problems affecting my constituency are precisely similar to those of the neighbouring town of Dewsbury, and I appreciate the opportunities that my hon. Friend the Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Ginsburg) and I have of discussing these common problems.
The decline in the heavy woollen textile industry began many years ago. It is due to a number of causes. The first was the arrival of foreign competition Later there was competition from the invention of man-made fibres. More recently, fashion changes have greatly affected the output of the industry, since nowadays so many people prefer to wear clothes of lighter weight. The industry is much reduced in size but it is not dead. That which remains provides useful employment for a good many people and is a valuable asset to the nation.
Although many firms have had to close their doors and insufficient new industries have come into the area, unemployment in my constituency has remained comparatively low. It is considerably higher than it should be, but at present it is a little lower than the national average. The reason for that is that those who become unemployed are prepared to move house or travel to other jobs in nearby cities and towns, such as Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield. I am very pleased that it is possible for them to find other jobs. Nevertheless, in order to maintain a healthy, thriving community more industries are needed in my area of the West Riding, and it has been very difficult to persuade new firms to come into the area. I am hoping that it will be somewhat easier in the future now that this part of the country has been included in the intermediate area. Previously my constituency and those adjoining it were greatly handicapped by being outside the intermediate area. Now at least we have shed that handicap.
I am appreciative of all that has been done by successive Governments to improve transport in the area. We have seen 117 the extension of the M1 up to Leeds, and we have the Yorkshire-Lancashire motorway under construction. I join those hon. Members who have urged the completion of the Yorkshire-Lancashire motorway as soon as possible. British Railways provide very good services for passengers and goods. But, as at least two hon. Members have said already, the region seriously lacks an airport capable of being used by large modern aircraft. We have heard a great deal of talk of the wonderful new airport that we are to have somewhere at some time. However, what is needed very quickly, if only as a temporary measure, is an extension of the runway at Yeadon Airport.
The hon. Member for Pudsey (Mr. Hiley) is an excellent constituency Member and he supports those many constituents of his who do not wish to have the runway extended. However, I am not the Member for Pudsey, and I was surprised that the Secretary of State for the Environment would not permit the proposed extension to be under taken. I have little sympathy with the residents near the airport. If the policy were to build a new airport in an area where there were many houses, certainly I should sympathise with the residents there. But when Leeds and Bradford decided to have an airport Yeadon Moor was selected because it was an open space. The people now living there are living in houses which have been built since the construction of the airport. As the airport was there first and as they have come to live there subsequently, they should not be permitted to prevent its extension.
I believe that a serious obstacle in the way of industrial development in my area is the environment. A number of hon. Members have referred to this already. At one time the foothills of the Pennines were amongst the most beautiful parts in Britain. With the coming of the industrial revolution when any man was allowed to put up any building anywhere they were quickly transformed into the most unsightly. Since the war slums have been demolished and new housing estates have been built, but there remains too much dereliction. Nowadays people are not content merely with a place in which to work and a place in which to sleep. They want a pleasant environment that is free from squalor, dereliction and 118 ugliness. Steps are being taken to improve the environment in the industrial towns, but the change cannot come too quickly.
I am aware that many hon. Members wish to speak in this debate, so I shall occupy only a little more time. I conclude by saying a few words about the future. I have mentioned the decline in the old stable industries and I have explained that that has brought about a need for new industries in the area. In the very near future there will be upheavals in local government, and, still more important, the people of the West Riding must adjust to the changes consequent on entry into the Common Market. Yorkshire men and women are industrious, adaptable and self-reliant. They will cope with those changes. Put I hope that this debate will show the Government the need for further measures to assist this important part of the country to overcome its difficulties.
§ 7.29 p.m.
§ Miss Joan Hall (Keighley)
I am pleased to be called immediately following the speech of the hon. Member for Batley and Morley (Sir A. Broughton), and I agree with his last comments about the reorganisation of local government, which I believe will make quite a big difference to Yorkshire, especially to the West Riding. However, I am sure that we shall adapt as well in the future as we have in the past by working together.
I feel that a certain amount of gloom has been engendered about the situation in Yorkshire and Humberside. No doubt some of it is justified. However, I feel that, not just in Yorkshire but in the country as a whole, we have a bad tendency always to talk about our failures and where we do not go right and far too little about where we are successful. When one goes overseas it is depressing to hear it said that the vast majority of people in this country are unwashed, on drugs and permanently on strike. Far too often that is the picture painted of the majority of people here, but it is totally false. [Interruption.] The papers overseas refer simply to the people of this country. They do not refer to them as Socialists or Conservatives. My view is that we should talk about our success a lot more. In the West Riding, in particular, and in Yorkshire as a whole there have been a number of success stories under the present Government.
119 Change has come to our part of the country later and at a slower pace than to some other areas, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. In our part of the world we are a bit canny about change, and we do not want change unless it is for the better. One of our strengths is that we have an identity. I was born in the constituency of Barnsley. The Keighley constituency is about 30 miles away from there, but Keighley people think that Barnsley is on the moon. That sort of thing can be repeated all over Yorkshire. We are friendly, but we do not mix. It is a little like oil and water. In a way that is good, because it means that if people go to an area they feel that they belong and have an identity with it.
Reference has been made to population movements outwards. My experience is that there is a lot of population movement within the area, and this is a good thing. The younger generation are prepared to move home; they are prepared to change their jobs. If they come to an area with which they feel they have an identity and to which they feel they belong they participate in local activities. This enables them to live much happier lives and it leaves them with happier memories than they would have if they lived in an area which is rather nebulous and where it is difficult to tell where one town commences and another ends. Few areas have more identity than those in Yorkshire. This is important, and I hope that it will always be so.
The unemployment figures are far too vague and unscientific. More research and more money should be made available to find out who the unemployed really are. A number of people who are unemployed do not register, and this goes particularly for women. On the question of male unemployment, there is a big difference between the chap who is out of work for a few weeks and the chap who is over 50 and has been declared redundant, who finds it extremely difficult to get another job, particularly if he is in management.
The unemployment figures are far too unscientific, but there is, nevertheless, a lot of genuine unemployment in the West Riding, though it is far less than in some other areas. There are people who 120 become unemployed simply for the sake of getting money from the State, but, on the other hand, there are those who genuinely want work but find it difficult to obtain.
The employment position in Keighley since the war has been good, but we felt a cold breeze last winter, partly because we are dependent mainly on textiles and engineering. There has not been a great deal of change during the last 20 years, and when it came it came rapidly. Nevertheless, the unemployment figure has gone down from 9.9 per cent. in February, and in May it was 4.2 per cent., which was an improvement.
There are many small textile and engineering firms in my constituency. This is the strength of the area because when times are difficult these small firms are much more resilient, more adaptable and provide the goods more quickly and at a cheaper price than some of the larger companies do. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Spence) has left the Chamber, because I disagree with what he said about bringing in firms from Germany, the United States and Japan. I feel that we have to look after our own firms, and that our real growth will come from the small companies which are already established.
I feel, too, that many of these firms, with increased production and larger profits, are in a much healthier position than they were two or three years ago, particularly as money is now more readily available from the banks. One of the big problems facing small companies is that of being able to borrow money for expansion purposes, and I am happy to report that the situation is much easier than it was two or three years ago.
§ Mr. Proudfoot
Was it my hon. Friend's experience that when the Socialists were in power mergers mopped up many of the small, vigorous companies?
§ Mr. Mendelson
It goes without saying that I am always more than pleased to accept any invitation which the hon. Lady is prepared to extend to me, but I wish that I could agree with her comments about investment. The hon. Lady must have seen the recent survey in the Financial Times which showed that the Treasury was gravely worried because, although there was a lot of money available for borrowing, new investment was not forthcoming.
§ Miss Hall
I shall give the hon. Gentleman three classic examples of successful investment. If a firm is to be successful, it must have good leadership. That is essential. Secondly, everyone in the firm must work as a team. I was sorry to hear the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) talk about "bosses". The tragedy is that people talk about "us" and "them", about "bosses" and "workers". That is a dangerous attitude and it does not represent the true situation. Everybody is in the battle for survival together, whether it be behind a desk or at a machine, and that cannot be emphasised too much. All this talk about "bosses" and "us" and "them" does untold damage. In the West Riding there is more team work, leadership and loyalty than one finds in other areas, and that is one of the assets that we should discuss. The strike record in the textile industry in Yorkshire is one of the best in the country, and I do not think that that fact is appreciated.
The House knows that the machine tool and engineering industries are not in a particularly happy state. There is the 122 machine tool exhibition this week which should help. About six or eight weeks ago a man who has a small machine tooling business came to see me. He told me that during the previous week he had travelled 1,100 miles round the country and had obtained enough orders to keep his firm fully employed for the next year. He said that his problem was that of getting the orders carried out, and he is now looking for new premises in which to expand his business. That is the first success story which I want the House to remember.
The other two success stories are in textiles. One firm is engaged in knitting, dyeing and finishing. It is now excavating the second part of its extension, which when completed will cost £1½ million, and it is taking on extra labour. This is a real success story. I rang up the firm one lunchtime and went through to one of the directors. I said "There must be a mistake. I have missed the switchboard". He said, "When the girls are out for lunch, I take the calls". That is a story of teamwork and leadership about which we should talk a lot more.
Another firm is in carding and combing of wool. As a direct result of the Budget, it decided to build a new unit for the carding and combing department. This was not considered before the end of April. It will be in production at the end of September, and the machinery and the building itself will have cost £200,000. This is a direct result of Government policy and a success story we should hear more about.
§ Mr. Hardy
I should like to know the numbers employed. Would the hon. Lady also comment on the fact that these examples of hers may be due to the availability of money? We should not agree that the main effect of the availability of money in Yorkshire and Humberside and the rest of the country has not been to encourage this desirable expansion but to encourage the greedy land speculator and to ensure that land and house prices in Yorkshire rise as fast as everywhere else?
§ Miss Hall
I fail to see what the Government's measures for industry have to do with land speculators. I have given three examples—there are probably 123 some in the hon. Gentleman's own constituency—of the Government helping industry, industrialists and the whole of the work force.
What is interesting about these textile firms is that they are working a seven-day week around the clock. When this expensive machinery is installed, they realise that it must be worked this length of time in order to get the return on it. These firms have very low labour turnover. Employees are well paid. They work a 28-day system with 14 days on and a break of four or five days off, so they get far more than the normal weekend. This is appreciated, and when they work they work very hard. But when they are off, they are really off and can enjoy themselves.
This will be the changing pattern of industry when there is modernisation and investment—getting rid of the 9 to 5 day and having round-the-clock work for everybody.
§ Mr. Kelley
There has been a Continental week in the textile industry for many years—more than 14 years that I know of. It has been prevalent throughout Yorkshire, so the hon. Lady is talking a load of nonsense.
§ Miss Hall
I am not talking a load of nonsense. I go around and talk to these firms, which know their own industry—which the hon. Gentleman obviously does not.
Communications are also important. Enough has been said about the M1 and the M62, but very little about the Aire Valley motorway, which will go up almost from Bradford. This is a very serious situation. The original plan was announced some years ago, and when we ask for concrete information we are just told that studies are still taking place. This is serious on two counts. First, industry requires better communications to get out of the Keighley area down to the M1 and the M62, and particularly to the ports of Merseyside and Humberside. Second, the people 124 living in the houses which will have to come down for this motorway are generally elderly people; it is much more serious for them, because they find it so much more difficult than young people to move or to get mortgages. I therefore agree with what my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-West (Sir D. Kaberry) said about information coming back.
There has been talk about housing. In Keighley we have a shabby rundown area, again with mainly elderly people, who do not find it easy to keep up the appearance of their homes. Instead of dealing with individual houses and individual streets, we have taken the whole area and intend to give it a complete facelift. Certain areas will be cleared and left as open space, with grass and so on, and made much more pleasant. We hope to bring back young families and children, to give a balanced population. One of our problems in the centres of cities is a declining, elderly population.
I know that the Under-Secretary is aware of our problems. We have applied for roads to be shut off before the work can start, and there seems to be a log-jam in the Department when it comes to getting an answer. There is frustration and there are money problems. This is undesirable.
Lack of communication is one of the biggest problems between Government and people, Government and organisations, and Government and councils. A great deal of help is available for individuals and firms, but they do not realise what they are entitled to receive. This problem arises, of course, in the social services. This lack of communication makes the facelifts of such rundown areas in the West Riding much more difficult. The help is there, and the next thing is to get it where it is needed. This is one of the top priorities in Yorkshire and Humberside.
§ 8.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Edwin Wainwright (Dearne Valley)
I do not want to comment too much on the speech of the hon. Member for Keighley (Miss Joan Hall) except to welcome the success story she described. But she said nothing about the depressing stories of the closure of factories in Yorkshire, one or two of them in my constituency. I would not have said that it 125 was a lack of leadership that caused this. It was a lack of something, possibly a lack of business. That is what is wrong with the country at the moment.
The Minister chastised my right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) with the fact that the Labour Government did not put into operation the recommendations that my right hon. Friend made. Circumstances have changed. Unemployment is much higher than when we left office or when the Hunt Report came out. The Minister was not being fair to my right hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Chataway
My point simply was that the Hunt Committee had warned about what was likely to happen and had made certain recommendations. The last Government did not implement them and we have done so. I should have thought that that was a fair argument.
§ Mr. Wainwright
But the Government have taken a long time to put this into operation—after unemployment had risen considerably.
The hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. Proudfoot) talked about this side of the House running down Yorkshire. That is ridiculous. If part of any area is not up to standard, one is entitled to criticise it without being thought to criticise the whole county. Yorkshire has plenty of beauty, and much to be praised.
I comment briefly about communications, especially roads. Whilst many benefits can be derived from the M1 and A1 roadways, it is essential that we improve road communications in Yorkshire. Four new roadways are now required to open up commercial traffic within the region and to give much needed outlets to traffic of all kinds. Not only must we have a speed up of the work on the M62 but it must be borne in mind that if we enter the Common Market on 1st January, 1973, that road should be quickly extended across the country, from Liverpool to Hull. This is essential.
The first of the other new roadways should be the Sheffield to Manchester motorway, crossing the Pennines. This must be given urgent attention. This roadway should also extend to south 126 Merseyside and south Humberside. This would complement the M62, thus helping tremendously to bring greater opportunities for free flowing traffic, thus opening out industrial expansion into the Yorkshire and Humberside region. The M1 should be extended northwards and coupled with the A1 at some place beyond Harrogate or Knaresborough.
There is also a necessity for improvement in the Huddersfield-Bradford-Skipton area. Road improvements there are essential. This planned Airedale route ought to receive favourable consideration by the Minister. There has been much talk of a Barnsley to Doncaster new road. This is essential to open up that part of the country, a part in which I reside.
The Government should make up their mind on these proposals. Now is the time to get cracking with these jobs. The road construction companies have the capacity to do the work. We have the men, and far too many of them are out of work. We also have the materials. Throughout the county we have numerous dirt stacks which could be used for filling in roadways.
Our ports ought to be modernised. It is no good having good roadways unless the ports which have to carry the traffic are modernised and use the container system so that ships can have a quick turn-round.
Our canals should receive urgent attention. We have an extremely good canal system. If our canals were widened slightly they could carry boats of up to 1,000 tons, which would be of great help in taking some weight of our roads.
The Dearne Valley, which is my constituency, lies in a triangle formed by Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. Unemployment in my constituency is so great and has been so persistent for so long that—whether or not hon. Members on the Government side of the House accept it—the valley is becoming rather a depressed area. Mexborough does not have a great deal of industry in its district. Its people have to travel far a field for jobs. Surrounding Mexborough are many industrial sites, and in the Dearne Valley area and around the other three towns I have mentioned and further south of Doncaster is a belt of high unemployment. But there are plenty of 127 industrial sites. It is time that the Government brought new industries to this area.
A fear still exists among coal miners because the future of the coal industry is not guaranteed. The Government ought to produce a fuel policy which would give guarantees to the coal industry about its future. The man working in the pits today ought to be made aware that he will have a job for the next 20 years at the minimum. If that job happens to go by the wayside and the pit happens to be closed, other industries should be brought to the area.
The same applies to the steel industry. Rationalisation is taking place. Unemployment and redundancies are occurring in that industry, and there is no guarantee about jobs. The Minister talked about the steel industry and about how much the Government were investing in it. I remember that when the Labour Government took over the steel industry experts said that to modernise it would cost £4,000 million. When talking about an annual investment of £267 million, one has to bear in mind what is really required. If the Government had spent the sums recommended to the Labour Government the industry would have increased its output and would have found jobs for the men who have been made redundant due to rationalisation.
What we require in this part of Yorkshire is more diversification of industry. In addition to the expansion required of many of the existing industries, new industries must be encouraged. But the Government have no plan. Why do they not set up a committee to examine the trends of employment, to find out what kind of employment will be required in the next 10 or 20 years where new industries have been brought into being, and to find out what those future industries will be like, so that they can plan the economy of the nation to cater for the new industries, thereby making certain that the economy improves all the time?
As for the region as a whole, with improved road communications and the existing railway system it could become once again a hive of industry. It is very close to Birmingham and the South, and with unproved road communications we could transport our goods there quite 128 easily. The completion of the M62 and the Sheffield-Pennine motorway would mean good road communications with both the east coast and the west coast.
We have an experienced labour force which could easily be trained to become semi-skilled and skilled for other industries. We are short of training establishments, and the Government ought to bring more into Yorkshire. There has been too much migration of labour. If it had not been for the migration of labour from Yorkshire, the unemployment figures would have been tremendously higher than they are at present
It is the responsibility of any Government, in any system of society, to provide work for their people. It is a disgrace for our nation to have bad, dilapidated schools and hospitals, bad housing up and down the country and great areas in which improvement is needed when at the same time we have men out of work. Therefore, it is time that the Government saw to it that these recommendations are carried out.
§ 8.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
I take up one of the points made by the hon. Member for Dearne Valley (Mr. Edwin Wainwright). He suggested a widening of our canal system. I have often felt that what is required is that the four major estuaries, Mersey, Humber, Thames and Severn, should be joined by a decent canal system. I commend this suggestion to my right hon. Friend.
The hon. Member for Dearne Valley praised the speech of the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason). I make no quarrel about that. However, I feel that the Opposition's Motion is both pessimistic and party political.
I shall confine my remarks entirely to Humberside. It is fair to say that both Governments have done the best that they possibly could for that area. There is no doubt that they have not yet succeeded in ending the isolation of Humberside, but I believe that that will be done when the Humber Bridge is completed. The Labour Government promised the Humber Bridge but the present Government will build it. The Government have taken what is probably the biggest step of all to unite the Humberside region by proposing in the Local Government Bill that one authority should control both 129 sides of the estuary. This is of immense importance for the future from the point of view of planning investment and for the future development of the area.
§ Mr. Albert Roberts (Normanton)
It would have been far better to have had one county, not south of the Humber. It would have been far better to have had Yorkshire as a province than to have a part Yorkshire and Humberside region.
§ Mr. Wall
The fundamental issue is that we should have both sides of the Humber under one authority. Hon. Members on both sides have stressed the importance of communications, and I am glad that it has recently been announced that the M62 and the M18 will go through into Hull. It has been said that the section from Snaith to Balkholm will be completed during 1976. Only last week we learned that the motorway would go on right into Hull, but it has not been announced when it will be completed. These motorways must be open at the same time as the Humber Bridge is completed. It is planned to complete the bridge in 1975, and it would be disastrous if the motorways were not completed until one or two years later.
The contract for the Humber Bridge will be worth about £25 million and will be placed in the very near future. It will be the longest clear span bridge in the world, with a length of over 4,500 ft. British consortia have built bridges in Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne which are all, in their particular classes, record bridges as far as length is concerned. I hope that when the contract for the Humber Bridge is placed it will be with a British firm. It would be most unfortunate in the present state of unemployment if the last major estuary in the country was bridged by a foreign contractor. I hope everything will be done to make certain that this magnificent scheme is completed by a British consortium.
When the bridge is built, the general idea seems to be that once the motorist crosses it he will turn right or left into Hull or the West Riding. I believe that quite a lot of traffic will continue on, and it is therefore important to have a northern exit from the bridge leading to the Tyne and the Tees. A road is being planned between Swinland and Skidby in my constituency but I understand that 130 this will be a fairly narrow road, not dual carriageway, and that no date has been fixed for its completion. It is most important that this should be of adequate width and be completed at the same time as the Humber Bridge is opened.
May I at this point ride my old hobbyhorse again and remind my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary about the importance of the Beverley bypass because I believe that a great deal of traffic will be generated by the Humber Bridge and there are buildings of national importance in Beverley; namely the Minster and St. Mary's? If foreign container lorries weighing 40 tons go through this county town and use the country roads they will create absolutely havoc in the area and endanger the environment.
It is also important to plan for the reclamation of the Humber estuary. I am not thinking of a Europort under Spurn Head. That may come in the future but it is a long way off. Land on the west of the estuary that is above the site for the Humber Bridge should be reclaimed for industrial building which will eventually be necessary. Industrial areas should be sited on reclaimed land and not on good farmland such as is suggested in the Humberside Survey at Dalton Holme in my constituency. We should take a lesson from the Dutch, who have reclaimed an immense amount of land. This could fairly easily be repeated in the Humber estuary for the location of new industries.
The port of Hull was mentioned by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), who pointed out that £25 million had been invested in the port in recent years but that last year it had shown a loss of over £1 million. Something is radically wrong with the port of Hull. Some of the major users of the port—for instance, the tanning industry—have cut their use by some 50 per cent., and much the same story applies to timber and coal. I have in my hand a document prepared by one of the major users, and I quote the first sentence:The attitude of the Docks Board over the past few years leaves a lot to be desired so far as port users are concerned—invariably without prior consultation they have decided on changes in charges and facilities which ship owners, agents and merchants alike have had to accept as the strongest protests have rarely had any effect.131 The document says that these charges were introduced without much consultation with the user, that in the past 18 months charges have increased by 48½ per cent., and that another 5 per cent. increase is planned.
I understand that the form of the port of Hull is changing from the long sea to the short sea trade but it is absolutely essential that we get the port running satisfactorily before Britain enters the Common Market. I believe that the Common Market will provide an immense challenge to Hull, and if the port is ready to take that challenge up there will be great prosperity for Humberside in the future.
I shall make five suggestions of what should be done. There should be much better co-operation between the Docks Board and the port users. I have already referred to one of the remarks by the port users, and I have a number of similar papers in my hand which I will not deal with in view of the late hour. If the situation does not improve a Government inquiry will be necessary.
The question of interest charges was raised by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East. I believe that interest of 9 per cent. has to be paid on £1,250,000. I accept that the port must pay its way, but these are old debts. Cannot the Government do something about them?
Then there is the question of un-required assets. Surely land belonging to the Docks Board which is not now wanted and, above all, land belonging to the railways which is not now used for railway sidings should be sold off as rapidly as possible. I know of a number of industries which would like to acquire that kind of land in the port area.
There is the question of the closure or future use of the William Wright and Albert Docks. I mention this very briefly because I know the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson) wishes to speak on this subject. I understand that the value of the docks is £4 million and if the users are required to earn enough to pay the 9 per cent. interest each year of this sum the question of these docks being used by the fishing industry must almost be ruled out.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)
Since it is not likely that I shall be able to speak, may I now ask a question? Does the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) accept my view that the deep sea fishing fleet should move out of the old St. Andrew's docks because it would take an awful lot of money to get them up to top form? Instead, it should move into the Western Commercial Dock, which is in danger from a hasty and ill-thought-out decision to close it. It could be made usable for the fishing fleet.
§ Mr. Wall
As usual we agree on these matters. I agree that this is what should happen. Whether it is possible for the fishing industry to take over these docks fully I doubt because of the reasons I have already given. The charges would be too high. But the docks could remain as a dual purpose facility, one of the partners being the fishing industry.
Lastly, there is the question of labour relations. The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East talked about the transference of work to the small ports up river, and gave certain reasons. He did not mention the key reason, which is the absurd one-day strikes which have been going on in the port of Hull over the years, wrecking the port and forcing users to go elsewhere. There is a complete lack of discipline in the Hull docks. The union leaders are doing their best, but there is an inter-union dispute, and the whole position is bedevilled by bad labour relations with the Docks Board and the users.
§ Mr. McNamara
In fairness to the dockers, would not the hon. Gentleman care to state the number of dockers employed in the port of Hull before decasualisation, after Devlin Stage 1 and after Devlin Stage 2, and the number of jobs in prospect, and then say whether the men are wrong to try to defend their jobs?
§ Mr. Wall
I will not give way, because I have given way three times already. I would only remind the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) of what one of the major dock users said recently about the Hull docks. I quote from the Hull Daily Mail:If they carry on with the one-day stoppages it really will put paid to the port because some companies have said that if there is a return to these unofficial strikes they will not ship through Hull in the future.That is the hard fact. Whatever the reasons—and I have considerable sympathy with the dockers—if the one-day strikes go on, the port of Hull is doomed.
§ Mr. Wall
I have one more comparatively minor point, concerning the smaller shipbuilding yards. In my constituency there is a very efficient shipbuilding yard, Richard Dunstans, which has an excellent export record. It has another yard in Thorne. The two yards are under certain difficulties over the proposed subsidies. In view of the time I will not worry the House with the details now, but I know that the hon. Member for Goole (Dr. Marshall) will join me in representing them to the Minister in the near future.
To sum up, I remind the House that Humberside depends on its port, and that the port depends on communications. By 1975–76 communications will be good. Therefore, it is up to us to make certain that the port puts its affairs in order by then. I hope very much that, by co-operation between the Docks Board, the users and the dockers, that may be achieved, because it is the most important of all factors in the Humberside.
§ 8.31 p.m.
§ Dr. Edmund Marshall (Goole)
I am most grateful for the support given by the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) to the particular calls of the shipbuilding firm which operates in both his constituency and mine. I assure him that I shall endeavour to pursue the matter as far as I can within the Standing Committee dealing with the Industry Bill.
I want to devote my remarks to the need for improved airport facilities in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. 134 and in particular the need for a new regional airport. I emphasise those words, because we are often confused about what we mean by a new regional airport. I am not speaking of air feeder services to major international airports, and I am not thinking of a major intercontinental airport. I am thinking of a regional airport which would have services to anywhere within the continent of Europe and within the British Isles. Therefore, we must first draw a distinction between the problems raised in the debate about the future of the Leeds-Bradford Airport and the need for an entirely new regional airport. The two issues are quite separate.
The problems surrounding the possibility of extension of the present airport at Yeadon must be looked at separately from the need for a major new development to serve the region as a whole. Indeed, the letter which hon. Members on both sides will have received recently from the Secretary to the Yorkshire Airport Action Committee, the pressure group behind the need for extending the Leeds-Bradford Airport makes the point that:a distinction must be maintained between the strictly 'local' nature of an extended Leeds/Bradford Airport, operating schedule flights to domestic and near-European destinations, and that of a regional airport whose very nature would demand a much greater range of services if it were ever to prove economically successful.I do not agree wholeheartedly with all that is said there, but it pinpoints the difference between the two concepts that we are talking about.
If we are to consider the prospect of a new regional airport, we must also bear in mind the hope that one day it would act as a new economic magnet, that it would not only provide better flying facilities for passengers by air but would also act as a catalyst for economic development in the vicinity.
Those of us who travel to airports in other parts of the country know of the industrial estates which tend to grow up in the neighbourhood of those airports with a lot of distribution centres. They are places where manufacturers want to gather together their goods for freight transport overseas. If we determine the best location for a new regional airport, we shall have to be mindful of the way in which it will help to bring new economic 135 development and provide new employment opportunities for areas round about.
In the south-eastern portion of what is the present West Riding, there is every need, economically, for such a major new injection. I hope that wherever a new airport is to be it will be centrally within Yorkshire and Humberside as a whole.
§ Mr. Albert Roberts
Before my hon. Friend the Member for Goole (Dr. Marshall) leaves that point, which is priority number one—the extension of the runway at Yeadon Moor, the Leeds-Bradford airport or the international airport?
§ Dr. Marshall
As I have already indicated, I do not regard these matters as issues against one another. As the Member for the Goole constituency, it is not part of my brief to speak about the Leeds-Bradford area.
I am particularly concerned with the two reports which have already appeared dealing with the need for a new regional airport. In 1967 there appeared, first, a report commissioned by a body called the Consultative Council for Airport Development in Yorkshire and Humberside which was produced by Alan Stratford and Associates. That report favoured a new regional airport on Thorn Waste in my constituency. Not satisfied with that, the joint committee which runs the Leeds-Bradford Airport commissioned last year the Metra Consulting Group to look at airport regional needs. Last month that group produced its report "an Airport for Yorkshire". The report favoured an entirely new airport at Balne Moor, another place in my constituency overlapping the boundary of the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Hems worth (Mr. Beaney).
I am sorry that the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Sir D. Kaberry) had never heard of Balne Moor. I hope that he will note the correct pronunciation of that place. Although Balne is spelt differently it rhymes with Thorn. These two sites are central to my constituency and, therefore, I have a close interest in the prospects of development at either site.
Thorne Waste, which was suggested in the earlier report, is described in a recent editorial in the Goole Times as follows: 136It is there, on the map, as a bald patch of nothing in a featureless countryside—a stretch of sour, waterlogged land lying low to the south of Goole.There is very little habitation anywhere near.
The Balne Moor site is entirely agricultural land with scattered residential development but without any village focus. The only focus for the people of the locality is a small Methodist chapel which lies close to the proposed alignment for the airport which has been suggested at Balne Moor. I visit the village chapel from time to time.
These two sites are only nine miles apart as the crow flies. They are both adjacent to the route which has now been settled for the M62. However, regarding land usage, these two sites areas different as chalk and cheese. The development of these two sites will affect local people in entirely different ways.
§ Mr. Kelley
Does my hon. Friend agree that a large concentration of population in my constituency would be affected by sound nuisance from the flight path of any airport development at Balne, or Balne Moor, as he may call it?
§ Dr. Marshall
The flight path suggested for Balne Moor will go over the villages of Norton and Camps all in my hon. Friend's constituency. I know that he has an active interest in this proposal because of that factor.
Looking at it from the point of view of my constituents, I know from all the indications I have so far had that local people are 90 per cent. against development at Balne Moor. I know also that for economic reasons local people are more than 90 per cent. in favour of development at Thorne Waste.
The two reports I have mentioned have been compiled by two different firms of consultants using different methods. There is some validity in both methods and there are gaps, but to date no proper comparative study has been made of these two sites. Therefore, I submit that before any further discussion of the proposed regional airport for Yorkshire and Humberside goes ahead we need a straightforward comparison on a fair costing basis between the two sites. This may turn out to be something like Cublington and Foulness yet again. If it does, we need to know how much more expensive 137 would be the development of the Thorne Waste site. It may be that, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) said, the Government should take a lead and undertake this study comparing the two sites. Thorne and Balne. Certainly as far as people and environmental considerations go, my money goes on the Thorne Waste site.
§ 8.42 p.m.
§ Mr. John Wilkinson (Bradford, West)
The debate has been disappointing because to plagiarise the metaphor of my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Mr. Hiley), hon. Members have perhaps stuck to their soap boxes too much in their own bush. In fact, Yorkshire has proved itself to be highly disparate. There is very little in common between the West Riding wool textile district and the South Yorkshire coalfield, between Huddersfield and the East Riding or between Humberside and the deep south around Sheffield. There is a very great difference between these different areas and that has made our debate extremely inchoate.
The ramshackle Opposition Motion was not as helpful as some hon. Members have suggested. I felt that the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) ill-timed his speech. If he and his right hon. Friends had tabled that same ramshackle Motion some months back, I could have felt it would have had more validity.
I felt that the timing was bad. The right hon. Gentleman has missed the bus on this one, as did the Labour Government when they were in power by not implementing the Hunt Committee's recommendations and by ignoring the recommendations of the economic assessment to 1972 which showed when they were in power in 1969 that on projections available unemployment would grow more rapidly in Yorkshire and Humberside than in any other region in the country.
It was also unfortunate that the right hon. Gentleman tried to get away with a bit of Barnsley blarney about the unemployment statistics. The statistics quoted by the right hon. Gentleman, although he did not admit it, referred specifically to male unemployment. The right hon. Gentleman could not fool me on that. I know that the Bradford figures are of the order of 4 per cent. overall, 138 whereas 6 per cent. relates to male unemployment.
Another disappointing aspect of the Motion is its implicit criticism of rationalisation. Rationalisation, for all the pains involved, offers the hope of greater stability for the future, of continued competitiveness and of assured employment, as we have discovered in the wool textile trade, where the loss of jobs has been broadly coincident with that forecast in the Atkins Report of 1969. It leaves the industry competitive and able to enter the Common Market with confidence. No one can suggest that bankruptcies and financial failures are a recipe for increased employment.
§ Mr. David Clark (Colne Valley)
The hon. Member, who has a great interest in the wool textile trade, has said that the Atkins Report suggested that there would be a rundown in the textile industry Has not the rundown been many times greater than that report suggested? Last year alone 15,000 jobs were lost in the wool textile industry, mainly in Yorkshire.
§ Mr. Wilkinson
I know that the rundown by early 1971 had reached 23,000. This was forecast to happen by the mid-1970s. However this rundown, which must be faced, leaves the industry more competitive, because there has been much capital investment.
What is needed is retraining—this is coming, as for instance in the Bradford area where a new Government training centre is to be instituted—and greater diversity. In my constituency an extra 750 jobs have just been created in colour television manufacture. There are increasing opportunities in other spheres.
Beyond that, it is important to try to analyse what influences industrial location. The first is an adequate supply of labour. This is available, but training is essential. The Government are pursuing vigorous steps in this regard. The second influence is a more flexible industrial development certificate policy. This has already come with the increased allowance to 15,000 sq. ft. without an IDC application. The third lies in environmental factors. There are the 75 per cent. housing improvement grants and the general improvement areas. Bradford has 139 the third highest record for general improvement areas in the whole country. These are very important matters, particularly if they are allied to infrastructural improvement such as communications.
Education too cannot be ignored, because it is crucial to creating the skills for employment prospects. In the regional strategy emphasis was placed on the primary sector. The Government are spending an extra £29 million on the improvement of primary schools. There is much of importance to be pursued in further education as well.
In my area it is important that courses to diploma standard should be available at the regional college of art in fashion and in graphic design, which are job-orientated skills. It is important that our university should have an expanding textile department. We must see too that at the technical college facilities for textile tuition are still provided. The business school at Bradford University is one of the most exciting features of the West Riding. It has a high reputation. It is going through an uneasy period with the imminent change of head, but I hope that it will continue to expand and prosper.
I would look also very much to the institution of an undergraduate school of medicine at the University of Bradford, and I know that this is something which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ripon (Sir M. Stoddart-Scott), with all his professional interest and knowledge, has pursued over many years and fought for. I hope it will come.
I hope also that the investment incentives will prove successful. A great deal of new industry has been interested in moving to the West Riding. The industrial officer of Bradford Corporation has spoken not only of local industries which wish to expand but of Continental firms which wish to come. For example, the large general engineering concern Flender (UK) has announced that 100 new jobs are being created at Thornbury. The managing director said, however, that good air communications were essential. In other words, modern industry requires good communications with its markets, and the best market is going to be increasingly in Europe.
In the Edwards Report on civil air transport in 1968, the regional develop- 140 ment aspects of civil aviation were constantly emphasised and supported by the Committee. It is my prayer that common sense will prevail in this matter. The fact is that services at Leeds-Bradford airport will cease in 1975 unless the runway is extended. I have no interest in interfering with any of the aspirations of the hon. Member for Goole (Dr. Marshall), as he has no interest in interfering with mine. All I know is that the Gatwick airport runway extension was granted although many more people were affected by noise in that area—indeed, four times as many—and that all the economic arguments we have advanced for the Leeds-Bradford extension were explicitly supported and upheld by the Department of the Environment's letter of 9th May, 1972, giving sanction for the extension of the Gatwick runway. Yet Gatwick does not fulfil in any sense the industrial purpose that Leeds-Bradford does in the West Riding, so it is important to get this extension.
I know that Goole and Balne Moor have their appeal, but no one has explained where the money for this development is to come from and no one has been able to disprove the increasing allure that the East Midlands airport will have. The runway extension at Leeds-Bradford will cost just over £1 million, aircraft are getting quieter all the time and many of the disadvantages which the Secretary of State saw in the extension have now been proved to be not as real as he feared at the time.
I think we have every reason in Yorkshire to be highly proud of the actions in many sectors which the Government are taking. Employment is picking up; prospects for the wool trade have not looked better for many a year; and I only hope that we can get the Leeds-Bradford runway extension to give us the air communications we need in the area.
§ 8.54 p.m.
§ Mr. Joseph Harper (Pontefract)
This is the first ever debate in which we have discussed specifically the problems of Yorkshire and Humberside, although we have discussed other areas ad nauseam. I recall the House discussing the North-East throughout the night in 1962.
Yorkshire, paradoxically enough, has always been regarded as a prosperous region. I do not know why, because it is anything but that. The average wages 141 are the lowest of any region, with the exception of Northern Ireland. Reports have been made over past years on the needs of the region by several bodies, including the Yorkshire and Humberside Economic Planning Council, the British Road Federation, the Yorkshire Sports Council, West Riding County Council and the West Riding Development Association, which is composed of members and officials of the respective local authorities. All this has been done with a view to stopping the rot, reducing unemployment and slowing down the rate of emigration, in particular of the young, to other areas and, what is more damning, overseas.
The Yorkshire Labour Members of Parliament have been busy as well, with study groups on communications, coal, steel, textiles, the environment and the ports, and have published a 13-point plan to deal with the problems of the region. I trust and hope that my hon. Friend the Member for Dearne Valley (Mr. Edwin Wainwright) has sent a copy of this report to the Minister. This report came out strongly in favour of development area status, which is a "must" for the Yorkshire area. The acceleration of the motorway building programme and the commercial use of the airports must be taken into account.
I want to talk about coal and the environment. More security should be given to the industry by the Government, and I mean management as well as men. We cannot afford to go on losing our technical people to other industries in this country or overseas. Two years ago we had a coalfield appraisal, and in the North Yorkshire area only four out of 21 pits were thought to have a long life. As this coalfield will continue to produce 9–10 million tons of coal a year for many years it is necessary to give security to those in the industry.
Increased technology will mean fewer men to win the coal, and new industries are desperately needed to provide employment, not only for the older men but for the school leavers, who have very few job opportunities. This has been brought out in the excellent document "Strategy for the West Riding" edited by the West Riding County Council. I was pleased and amazed to hear the Minister say that his plan is to expand the industry. I will tell him how to expand the coal in- 142 dustry—stop coal imports and reduce oil imports.
It is said that the unemployment figures in Yorkshire are not too bad. The average in the Yorkshire coalfield area is approximately 9.2 per cent. The highest is 12.8 per cent. at Hems worth and the lowest is at Castleford, my area, where it is 6.1 per cent. We have too readily accepted successive Governments telling us "Look, lads, there is only so much jam and if we spread it all over it will be too thin." Why not move the headquarters of the NCB from Hobart House in the West End of London to any of the regions in the coalfields of Lancashire or Yorkshire? There is not much coal got at Hobart House. Why not allow the NCB with its industrial complex to take, make and grasp opportunities to diversify, particularly in regions such as ours? We have always contended that the hiving off of the profitable parts of the industry was a pernicious attack upon it. If the NCB had the opportunity to diversify, into brewing for example, we would get that industry moving and there would be fewer contributions to the Tory Party.
I do not want to give the impression that we want to preserve the status quo. We want to move, we want to see new activities attracted to the industry by whatever means and to further the growth of new industries on sites such as the one in the Five Towns area referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason). My hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Walter Harrison) played a large and important part in this, together with my hon. Friend the Member for Normanton (Mr. Albert Roberts) in the West Riding Development Association in getting this site to the planning stage. It is schemes such as this that will assure the future.
In Yorkshire we have the Dales, the Wolds and the beautiful coastline, when we can get away from this place to enjoy it. We also have a depressing heritage of pit heaps, slag heaps, abandoned collieries, bad housing and old schools. In Featherstone there has been one new school built since 1930. Is that progress? We have more than our share of industrial pollution and I am not forgetting foam on the river, because there are many more chapters to that saga.
143 The 13-point charter to which I referred encourages local authorities to appoint development officers. It could well be that the reorganisation of local government, if we get it, will afford opportunity to put this into effect, and to have development officers, and in this way the county could be effectively sold to would-be forward looking businessmen, to bring industry into the region.
I should like to say just a word about industrial development certificates. I was looking this up and I found that the total number of IDCs for the region for the past four years, for schemes of 20,000 sq. ft. and over, was 960, an average of 240 per year. In view of what has already been happening and the rundown in the coal and steel industries and in textiles, this is just not good enough. We have often been promised jobs in the pipeline. All I can say is that that line must stretch all the way to China; but not many of the jobs have found their way through to us yet.
Some of our womenfolk have to travel from the coalfield to Bradford miles away over bad roads—and we have heard a good deal about roads tonight—to do a little job of work. If the National Coal Board were able to diversify, into clothing for instance, and open up factories where our womenfolk could be employed where they are in the coalfield, less time would be spent in travelling, and in that time they could do extra work and thereby get extra money and help to expand the economy. I would like to see the Government take that matter up.
I know that other hon. Members want to get into the debate and that is why I am talking sharp and to the point. This debate has not come a moment too soon, and I trust that the Government will take immediate steps to solve some of the problems which have been talked about by hon. Members on both sides of the House. One of the most important and effective steps would be to give us development status. There is nothing to stop the Government, as Yorkshire's work force is first class—I used to be one of it—and could easily be retrained. It will be a tragedy if it is allowed to waste and, what is worse, rot.
§ 9.2 p.m.
§ Mr. John H. Osborn (Sheffield, Hallam)
I hesitate to rise at 9 o'clock 144 lest someone were to jump to the conclusion that I am winding up the debate. I wish my hon. Friend who will be winding up every good wish in what, I think, may be his maiden speech in his new capacity. I hope he will take note of some of the points I wish to raise, which are about communications.
It has been a constructive and interesting debate. The speech by the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) was, perhaps, a little vitriolic, but we Yorkshire Members of Parliament are anxious to see much better opportunities for employment in Yorkshire and that Yorkshire should enjoy the prosperity and the level of wages which have certainly come to the south of England, and elsewhere in the country.
It was 1967 that the Hunt Committee was set up, and I welcome the fact that at last, in the Industry Bill and also in the recent White Paper, many of the recommendations of the Hunt Report are being implemented and that Yorkshire is at least being given intermediate status, if not the full development status asked for by the hon. Member for Pontefract (Mr. Harper). Yorkshire Members of Parliament are concerned about the prosperity of our region and we cannot be complacent at the fact that employment opportunities have dropped in the last 10 years to a much greater extent than they have in the country as a whole. In fact, employment opportunities in Yorkshire have dropped by 7.5 per cent. against a national drop of 4.8 per cent. over the last 10 years. The number employed in coal mining, for instance, dropped from 112,000 to 86,000 in five years, and in iron and steel from 93,000 to 79,000.
What can we do to improve the situation? Already, thanks to the measures taken under the Labour Government, when the then right hon. Member for Belper, now Lord George-Brown, introduced the concept of regional planning councils, we have the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Planning Council which in the intervening years has done much preparatory work to provide us with the information we so greatly need. The local West Riding branch of the Confederation of British Industry, the Association of Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce and the TUC regional committee have given some thought to what is 145 required. There is much that those who lead industry and society in Yorkshire can do for themselves to promote investment and employment opportunities. I readily support the view of the Planning Council that we should consider a development association in the Yorkshire region similar to the ones that have done so much elsewhere. The difficulty has been that individual area associations and boards are persuading industry into their own development areas to the detriment of other areas. I welcome intermediate status. It means that no longer does Yorkshire fall between two stools—thedevelopment areas in Scotland and the North-East and the richer areas of the South.
Perhaps the most valuable document is that prepared by the working party on Britain's entry into Europe, the most important aspect of which is the suggestion that the industries of Yorkshire should have good port facilities, not only for raw materials to come in but for exports to go out, so that those materials can be processed through to the wider market of Europe, This once again raises the question of transport and communication.
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State is well aware that hon. Members representing Sheffield constituencies are concerned that there be a positive decision about the Sheffield-Manchester motorway in the near future. Sheffield industry has had many setbacks, particularly the contraction in the steel and engineering industries over the last five years. In South Yorkshire there is a need to bring in materials from the western ports, particularly Liverpool, to be processed and perhaps sent through Hull and Humberside to new customers in the Community.
There is a strong environmental interest in connection with the proposed Sheffield-Manchester Motorway, as it will pass through the Peak Park, of which my hon. Friend should be aware, as is Lord Sandford, the Under-Secretary of State in another place, but employment and job opportunities in South Yorkshire have a priority which must be weighed against those interests.
The main point I wish to make concerns air transport. There is a report by the Metra Consulting Group in conjunc- 146 tion with Snow and Partners about an airport for Yorkshire. It is recommended that the airport should be sited not at Goole but, more economically, because it is nearer to the areas that use it, at Balne Moor. I hope that my hon. Friend will outline the alternatives before us. As hon. Members have pointed out, Leeds, Hull and, to a certain extent, Sheffield may require strips for the modern STOL aircraft which may be with us in 15 years, but in the meantime it is too costly to have three or four airports to serve Yorkshire. There must be a regional airport policy which will concentrate airport services, particularly for international air travel. Concentration will produce the economies and frequency of service which will put South Yorkshire as well as Humberside on the map so that visitors from Europe and other continents can gain ready access to those areas which are offering industrial opportunities. I hope that my hon. Friend will comment on the responsibilities and work of the Civil Aviation Authority and Yorkshire's requirements in the context of a national airports policy.
The Government have been asked to do a great many things, and I would make only one comment in this respect—namely, that there are events which can make the task of Government more difficult. Inflationary wage settlements make employment opportunities less easy to come by. The right hon. Member for Barnsley, who is very much involved with the coal industry, will know that as a result of the settlement in February coal costs have increased. This has meant that the TUC regional committee and others have had to look at the impact of the Wilberforce findings on the coal industry in Yorkshire. This year's wage increase could threaten next year's employment opportunities in the mines.
We have recently had a statement by the Minister for Transport Industries, which has been endorsed by the Chairman of the Railways Board, about further rationalisation of the regional structure. This will mean that the board's headquarters will move from Sheffield to York. An assurance was given that there would be limited redundancies which would be covered by wastage. The fact that, because of the settlement, British Rail will have to economise and rationalise may well mean that opportunities for 147 reducing redundancy in Sheffield will be made that much more elusive.
Finally, I welcome the statement on the dock situation by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment. The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) asked about the use of other docks in the Humberside area. Manufacturers are looking for the cheapest form of bringing in raw materials to their factories and for taking finished products to their customers. But also industrial strife, perhaps due to frustration and desperation, may also mean that continuity of transport will elude them. This is an important consideration since customers expect delivery on time. I hope that my hon. Friend in winding up the debate will emphasise the fact that there are in Yorkshire many good opportunities for the future provided they are not jeopardised by outside events and also will stress the importance of good communications.
§ 9.12 p.m.
§ Dr. Shirley Summerskill (Halifax)
This has been a most useful and constructive debate. I wish to point out that my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), whose constituency problems are very similar to my own, wishes to be associated with my remarks.
We appreciate that the Minister for Industrial Development is acquainted with the problems in our area, and the debate has served to show that the problems in my part of the West Riding are not dissimilar from the problems in large parts of Yorkshire as a whole. What is tragic about the decline of so many of these traditional industries, like textile and machine tools with which I am particularly concerned, is that it was out of the labour of the people of Yorkshire and of the land of Yorkshire that Britain grew to become a great industrial country. It was in the industrial revolution that the towns became black with soot and the people, through lack of sunshine contracted bronchitis, tuberculosis and rickets. Therefore, it is now the Government's duty to resuscitate these towns whose people have sacrificed so much and to give them help when they need it.
I was extremely disappointed with the Minister's treatment of one subject that is 148 mentioned in the Motion—namely, the low pay received by workers in the North. There is a gross disparity in wages between North and South and there still exist two nations in this respect. Yet the Minister rebukes Yorkshire men and women because they ask for a rise. However, he will see that there is gross inequality if he studies the figures of average rates of pay in the North as compared with those in the South. This is one of the major factors causing younger people to move out of Yorkshire and go south.
It is said in YorkshireWhere there's muck there's brass.But the brass is in the pockets of the wrong people.
I ask the Minister to take note of two specific requests. The right hon. Gentleman has congratulated himself and his Government on making us an intermediate area. However there is no point in that if, as has happened in my constituency, a firm closes up and moves to a development area. After all, a job for a man in the West Riding is just as important as a job for a man in a development area. We do not want to see intermediate areas becoming development areas in the future. Therefore we urge the right hon. Gentleman when he is considering the advantages of being an intermediate area to bear in mind that there is a tendency for industrialists and employers to look at development areas in this rather rosy way. We urge employers to think more of moving from the boom towns and cities up to the development areas and not to take the lifeblood away from the Yorkshire region, because that is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The second point is to remind the Minister that, although private enterprise has been extolled from the benches opposite during the debate, we have seen a strange conversion in the attitude of the Government to the rôle that the State can play in its aid to industry. We shall not rub that in. However, if the Government are to aid industry, they should do it properly or not at all.
Most people with knowledge of the machine tool industry consider that the much-heralded £9 million to £10 million which the Government are giving the industry will do little to assist the extremely 149 serious situation in which it is at the moment. We are told that it is the same all over the world. The fact remains that four-fifths of our machine tools are old and in need of replacement. Investment is higher in the French, German, United States and Swedish machine tool industries than it is in our own. If the Government wish to resuscitate the industry—and it does not believe in protectionism though certainly it needs help—it will require many millions of pounds. I have heard it suggested that between £50 million and £100 million will be required to take the industry out of decline. After all, the machine tool industry is the barometer of the industrial climate in Britain.
We on this side of the House believe that if we could have new growth industries coming to Yorkshire and at the same time some assistance for the older ones, Yorkshire would uphold its tradition of being the industrial backbone of Britain.
§ 9.18 p.m.
§ Mr. A. E. P. Duffy (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
My hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Harper) has described this debate as historic. Certainly it has been informative, instructive and stimulating, with a quiet but insistent pride in Yorkshire reflected in every speech
I am grateful for my own part in the debate, and I pay this early tribute to the generosity of my right hon. and hon. Friends. My only regret is that some of them who I know have worked extremely hard for many years for this kind of presentation of Yorkshire's problems and Yorkshire's case have been excluded from the debate through no fault of their own.
Those of my right hon. and hon. Friends who have been able to take part have brought to the attention of the House the main problems of our region, which, though still vital and with great potential, is making less progress than it should. My right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) has shown how the comparative lack of private as well as public prosperity is reflected in the region's infrastructure and has been concealed in turn by a low level of unemployment. My hon. Friends the Members for Leeds, South-East (Mr. Cohen) and Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) 150 have shown how net migration within, from west to east as well as from the region towards the Midlands and South-East, maintained a relatively low level of unemployment, and thus for many years denied the region the Government aid conferred on others.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling) has shown how too great a dependence for too long on the old staples of coal, steel and wool textiles lulled many into a false sense of economic security. Above all, my right hon. and hon. Friends have hammered home their experience, supported by recent analysis, that the root cause of the region's economic weakness is a lack of growth industry, aggravated by the persistence of an out-dated industrial structure.
Furthermore, those two factors, and others such as income and output, reflect the real determinants of prosperity in Yorkshire as well as elsewhere, and, taken together, these two trends point to a falling behind on the part of Yorkshire and Humberside.
What I find equally disturbing is the confessed unawareness of some hon. Gentlemen opposite, if this debate is a guide. Why do they not know? Some, notably the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr Wall), described our Motion as pessimistic. The hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Wilkinson) described it as ramshackle. Others, notably the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Spence), accused us of portraying an excessively gloomy picture. How do they explain that Yorkshire, with something near the national average income per head in 1949–50, had fallen to 3½ per cent. below the national average by 1959–60, and to 5 per cent. below by 1964–65? We have not necessarily got the up-to-date position.
How do they explain that since 1968 earnings and wages are lower and hours longer in Yorkshire and Humberside than in any other region in Britain, apart from East Anglia? They cannot mistake the significance of these trends. They must know, and none more so than the hon. Member for Brighouse and Spenborough (Mr. Proudfoot), that low earnings and even lower household expenditure can only make for a relatively low regional multiplier in the further generation of wealth and income.
151 Finally, how do they explain that net output per person in manufacturing industry declined faster in Yorkshire in the post-war period than in any other region so that we now have the lowest net output per region, whereas in 1948 we had the fourth highest?
It was this question of uncertain economic growth, arising from an unattractive environment as well as structural change in certain parts of Yorkshire and Humberside, to which the Hunt Committee was asked to address itself, and in view of the importance which the right hon. Gentleman clearly attaches to Hunt it is important for me to recall that the Hunt Committee proposed measures toassist with the process of industrial regeneration. This would aim less at attracting new industry…than at modernisation and stimulation of industry indigenous to the region…and the development of new centres of industrial growth.One of its members, however, Professor A. J. Brown, insisted thatOld industrial areas, heavily specialised on declining or slow-growing industries, do not readily generate new growth internally on a scale adequate to maintain the momentum of their economies.That, as my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) was quick to recognise, may be the crux of this debate.
In recent years Yorkshire and Humberside have sustained this level of new industrial and public investment and thus maintained a position at around the national average. We do not deny that, but the area has not been generating substantial extra employment because much of it has been in capital intensive industry. This suggests that Professor Brown may be right about the need for more aid to new industry, particularly employment-generating industry. Yet low incomes and declining employment reinforce each other in the failure of Yorkshire and Humberside to attract that new industry, particularly that one industry which we demonstrably lack at the moment, service industry.
It helps to explain why Yorkshire has been so unsuccessful in attracting finance and banking, professional and scientific services and public administration. It does not explain, however, why Yorkshire of all the regions should have had to accept the lowest relative proportion of civil 152 servants in 1965 and almost the lowest relative concentration of Crown properties by rateable value.
Is there any good reason why Yorkshire should not now be helped to attract a major Government office to its territory? Why should there be such a poor representation in our region of those industries which are the main financiers of research expenditure—of aircraft, electronics and other electricals?
General lack of employment opportunities could well be the result of cumulative interaction between slow adjustment to structural change and an unattractive industrial environment, thus discouraging service industry, notably the prestigious kind, but also accelerating gross migration from the area. Modernising the existing industries would only help to retard this process if the modernisation involved a greater variety of types of employment. New industries would seem to be necessary for this purpose, not just a better mix of the old.
Nowhere is the urgency of this more evident than in relation to employment opportunities for the young. So appalling is the problem in some parts of Yorkshire that it constitutes a situation of non-employment. If one never gets a job, one does not become unemployed. There is no evidence of lack of talent despite patchy educational facilities, but there is evidence on all sides of the region of a yawning gap between educational achievement and job opportunity.
Throughout the region now is to be found the most creditable indication of educational achievements, Nowhere is this more true, interestingly enough, than in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Dearne Valley (Mr. Edwin Wainwright), yet nowhere is the problem of youth unemployment more acute. There is such an extremely narrow range of possible jobs for the young, above all in the research-orientated and service industries—not only in my hon. Friend's constituency but in too many constituencies in our region.
Merely to recall the speeches of my hon. Friends is to identify the areas where the problem is most acute. As well as my hon. Friend the Member for Dearne Valley, my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) reminded us that West Yorkshire has the 153 problem of population loss and the decline of the textile industry, with no obvious sign of new growth industries emerging. My hon. Friend the Member for Dearne Valley reminded us that South Yorkshire has a far too narrow, insecure economic base in coal and the metal trades. My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) reminded us that there is no move yet towards realising the economic potential of Humberside, even though the feasibility study in 1969 called for a decision about major development to be taken no later than this year, 1972.
Their arguments seem irresistible. Without the application of the most vigorous practicable effort to the economy of the western section of the West Yorkshire conurbatiton, primarily the Bradford and Halifax areas, we can expect no more than the stabilisation of the population levels—not merely according to my hon. Friends but also according to the Regional Economic Planning Councils' "Regional Strategy". Without the most urgent attention to the Pennine Valleys, cradle of our industrial society, their character may be transformed and their communities may become dormitories, as my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, East (Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu) seemed to be all too well aware. With out the vigorous cultivation of a growth zone in South Yorkshire, it is likely that an increasing number of young people will leave the region. Without interventionist planning of the most far-reaching character, preferably by a para-governmental agency, the one asset that we have going for us in our region, the vast potential of Humberside, is unlikely to be realised. That would be a tragedy not only for youth employment prospects in Hull but also for future job opportunities through out the region. It would also be, perhaps, almost criminal neglect of a national asset.
Let me repeat, as my hon. Friends have stressed, that Yorkshire and Humberside is not yet in serious trouble. But the trends indicated by my hon. Friends show this to be imminent unless remedial steps are taken as a matter of urgency, these relate to the rundown of the region's staple industries of coal, steel and textiles, the associated environmental problems, the need for improved com- 154 munications and the compensating possibilities of Humberside.
All this comes through very clearly from a study of such reports as have been prepared and distributed by Mr. Frazer, West Riding's chief planning officer, and Mr. Ernest Hutchinson, the secretary of the West Riding Industrial Development Association, area studies such as those of "Doncaster", "Huddersfield and Colne Valley", "Halifax and Calder Valley", and "Humberside: a feasibility study", in addition to the "Regional Strategy" to which I have referred, the most recent publication "Growth Industries in the Region" and the Hunt Report, to which the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Industrial Development attaches so much importance.
Where my hon. Friends part company with some of these findings however, as well as with the right hon. Gentleman, can be seen in their support for Professor Brown's note of dissent to the Hunt Report.
I repeat that we have confidence in our basic industries in Yorkshire and Humberside, but believe that they will have to be reinforced by new industry from outside if job opportunity in the region is to be preserved. Doncaster is a striking case in point, as would have been pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) if he had been fortunate enough to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Members on the Government side of the House have objected that the Opposition's Motion takes no account of the new regional policies put forward by the Government. As a matter of fact, the announcement of those new regional policies helped to prompt our desire for the debate and the drafting of our Motion. We welcome the new regional policies in principle. Why should we not welcome them? They are utterly consistent with the purposes of the Industrial Expansion Act which we passed in 1968. We regret that the present Government marked time and back-tracked for two years before taking up these powers. Where we have doubts is on the relevance and detailed application of the new regional policies. After all, Yorkshire and Humberside has neither an ailing economy nor one that is overstretched. We have no "lame ducks" which we 155 wish to keep afloat, nor are we susceptible to over-heating. We are conscious of a great past but, in the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Batley and Morley (Sir A. Broughton), we are eager to adapt and to innovate towards an equally illustrious future.
We recall the Secretary of State's words in the House on 22nd May when, introducing the Industry Bill, he referred to the needfor a flexible effort…to meet the special characteristics of the various regions".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd May, 1972; Vol. 837, c. 1009.]But we are anxious lest these new regional policies are not flexible enough to provide the necessary conditions for Yorkshire and Humberside. Indeed, do they even conform to the Government's objectives? According to page 1 of the White Paper:They must be as clear, simple and certain in their impact as possible.The Secretary of State will recall the blast he got last week from the President of the CBI, which seemed to suggest that he certainly did not believe that they yet conformed to these objectives. Their reception in Yorkshire certainly confirms that there are people in this country, including employers, who do not believe that they are clear but think that they are obscure. They believe they are not simple, but elaborate and the certainty of their impact is questionable. Otherwise, how does the Minister for Industrial Development explain the rocket he received from the Yorkshire regional engineering employers last week? He met them, and, according to the Sheffield Morning Telegraph on 17th June, a spokesman on behalf of the employers warned that the Ministerwill have to face some pretty tough questioning from our members. I hope he knows his stuff.What prompted these words? They already had met him and they thought "the meeting was a 'complete waste of time'". The Chairman of the Yorkshire and Humberside Engineering Industries Associationurged Mr. Chataway to return for 'real talks'".The newspaper report concludessaid an association spokesman: 'He will face a very thorough question session on Government policies'.
§ Mr. Chataway
It was most unfortunate, perhaps partly due to the length of time I thought it fit to devote to the trade unions with which I was having a meeting in the afternoon, that we did not have much time for talks. The nature of their complaint was not that there was anything unclear about the incentives. The nature of their complaint concerned the length of time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Dodging."]
§ Mr. Duffy
Naturally, I was at pains to check the report. I understand that the complaint was not because of lack of time, but rather that it was a waste of time because of the lack of clarity and the lack of information. I think the Minister will understand, therefore, why we are so concerned about the application of the selective financial measures to Yorkshire and Humberside. I would like to ask the Minister some questions. I know he cannot asnwer them this evening, but no doubt he will make a note of them and let us have the information. Preferably he will let the employers in Yorkshire have the information.
First, what criteria will he employ and what strings will be attached? How far will Government investment in a particular scheme go? When will such large, no-ceiling deployments of public moneys lead to public equity? Will their distribution take place on a company basis or on a geographical basis? What of the special claims of Hems worth, Mexborough, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley, Hull and Halifax? How far will the Minister be guided by economic and social factors, or the overall consideration of regional balance? When will the new regional industrial director be appointed? These are questions that employers, as well as my hon. Friends, are asking in Yorkshire at the moment. When will the new Industrial Development Board be set up? What plans does the Minister have for the consultation and co-ordination of such important bodies as trade unions, employers' associations, local authorities, the West Riding Industrial Development Association and the other economic development associations which exist in Yorkshire?
This is the first occasion on which thedeep review of the efficacy of past industrial regional policies."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd May, 1972; Vol. 837, c. 1009.]157 to which the Secretary of State referred has been debated in terms of particular regions. My hon. Friends have reason to be suspicious of deep-seated reviews and none more so than my hon. Friends the Members for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley), Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy) and the Sheffield divisions. The phrase "deep-seated review" triggers off deep-seated suspicions and that is why they have sought the debate because they are concerned about the possible consequences for their regions.
There is no question of them "knocking" the region as the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Spence) alleged in the Press last week. On the contrary, my hon. Friends believe that their region could become the most exciting growth area in the country. With its superb communications, where the hills merge with the plains, the whole soon to be encompassed in a motorway box, it is clearly well poised to take the fullest advantage of the future development of the national economy.
In economic terms it is well blessed. It has an abundance of land, and much of it rich at that. The beauty of its rural and coastal areas assures tourism of a major rôle. It has the largest reserves of energy, in the form of coal under the earth and natural gas under the sea, of any region. In Kellingley it has the largest and most modern of collieries. In Drax it has the largest and most modern of power stations. In Humberside it has an area of great economic potential, which will undoubtedly act as a magnet on resource allocation throughout the economy.
If there is any logic in economic and market forces, considerable growth must take place. If there is any logic in economic planning, that growth should be encouraged, cultivated and fashioned to produce a lively and modern community.
It is because we do not think the Government are providing the necessary conditions or the right leadership that we felt obliged to table our Motion. We warn the Government that we shall pursue them relentlessly in the matter, for we have a sense of regional concern, deeper than their so-called deep-seated reviews. In this we are at one with all our hon. Friends in other regions. That is only one reason why we look to them with confidence to support us in the Lobby tonight.
§ 9.41 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Keith Speed)
First, I should like to commiserate with those hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton (Mr. Drayson), the hon. Members for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson), Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker), Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy),Normanton (Mr. Albert Roberts), Bradford, North (Mr. Ford) and Colne Valley (Mr. David Clark), who have sat through the debate and unfortunately have not been able to be called. But the fact that we have had 19 back bench speakers and four Front Bench speakers shows that this has been a good debate. Hon. Members have kept themselves very much to the point.
I hope to deal with some of the many matters raised. First, it has been recognised on both sides of the House that the problems of the region have not been created within the past two years Certainly they are deep-seated problems, which we are tackling for the first time in a truly effective and comprehensive way, and not only on the industrial development front. The whole question of economic development and faster growth in the economy, the considerably faster growth which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor the Exchequer has now set in train, will be of critical importance not only for Yorkshire and Humberside but for the regions throughout the country.
Constantly in the debate the question of communications was stressed as was, to a lesser extent but equally important, the question of the environment. I should like to say one or two things about the communications network. I believe that good communications and good roads are essentially an extension of factory production lines and should be viewed in that way. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Industrial Development mentioned that in physical terms we have a road programme totalling about £516 million, with on-the-ground works now in progress of £80 million. These are record high figures for the region and should be acknowledged as such.
One point of importance not mentioned in the debate is the speeding-up of the 159 M42 and M69 from Coventry and the Midlands to the Ml, which will dramatically link Humberside, Hull and Yorkshire and the North of England generally with the Midlands. These two road programmes, costing nearly £100 million, will be extremely important for the development of Yorkshire and Humberside. The M1 is completely open. Of the M62, a most important road built at a total cost of over £100 million, the 12 miles between Huddersfield and Leeds, that section which has been delayed by box girders, will I hope be open later this year or early next year. The 11-mile link between Leeds and Pontefract is already under construction. This road will be completed by 1975 from Lancashire through to Humberside, as will at the same time a high-class dual carriageway road all the way to the Hull docks. This will be of major importance for the problems of Humberside and that port. The M18, bypassing Doncaster on the south, will connect with the M62 and will be finished by 1975. The Thorne bypass is already nearly completed. From Thorne the M180 will extend eastwards on the south of the Humber bypassing Scunthorpe and connecting with the new road leading to the Humber Bridge. These roads and the bridge will be completed by 1976. I am delighted to tell the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) that in a year or two they will be extended to Immingham and Grimsby.
The Sheffield-Manchester road has been mentioned by a number of hon. Members on both sides. The feasibility study was carried out for the Department of the Environment by the West Riding County Council. We are considering that report. I promise that a statement will be made on this scheme before the recess.
The M1 south of Leeds, the Pudsey-Dishforth route, has been mentioned by a number of hon. Members on both sides. A trunk road proposal, I expect, will be announced by my Department in August or September.
Other proposals include the Bradford-Skipton road which was mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Miss Joan Hall). I am sorry to disappoint her but I cannot yet give a firm date when we shall be making announce- 160 ments on this proposal. Considerable and difficult environmental problems are involved, as anyone who knows the Aire Valley appreciates.
§ Mr. James Ramsden (Harrogate)
While the Under-Secretary is giving welcome news of future road improvements, could he say whether it is planned to widen the A1 through York? This could have relevance to the Pudsey-Dishforth route. The A1 is already considerably overloaded with the existing traffic.
§ Mr. Speed
That is one of the factors which we have to take into account in considering the route. There are various alternatives open to us. I hope that the route will be made clear at a later stage.
The A64 Leeds-York road is to be dualled for its whole length. There will be a bypass of York to the south and east of the city. I am delighted to assure my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) that bypasses of Beverley, Market Weighton, Selby and Ilkley, among others, are now planned. I hope that they will be getting under way within the next year or so.
Our programme contains a large number of principal road improvements in urban areas. The Leeds part of the inner ring road is complete. The south-east urban motorway is under construction and improvements to the main radial routes to dual carriageway standards are proposed. Work has started on an £8 million scheme to link Sheffield and the West Riding with the M1. This should be completed in two years. The road will extend later into Rotherham. The Sheffield programme includes an inner ring road and the Mosborough Expressway which will lead traffic into the heart of the city from the M1 at Barlborough.
Bradford has been mentioned by a number of hon. Members. The motorway linking the M62 and the outer ring road is under construction and will be completed later this year. The link road between Barnsley and Doncaster has also been mentioned. This has been added to the preparation list. It will cost several million pounds when completed.
I now come to housing, which has not been mentioned very much.
§ Mr. Albert Roberts
The hon. Member has made no mention of the Wetherby 161 spur, to bypass Woodlesford and Olton. This road is now receiving a tremendous amount of traffic from the M1.
§ Mr. Speed
I do not have any news for the hon. Gentleman on that matter. I will get in touch with the relevant body and give him an up-to-date account of the situation.
If we are talking about the environment of Yorkshire and Humberside, there is the question of housing. The legacy of the past has resulted in this region having a larger proportion of sub-standard housing than any other area in the country. It is estimated that 10 per cent. of houses in the region are unfit—that is, about 170,000. There are no Government restrictions on the local authority building programme as such. The Housing Finance Bill provisions will give a direct subsidy to a loss made on slum clearance and this is particularly helpful. [Interruption.] This will be particularly helpful and it has been welcomed by some of the local authorities in Yorkshire and Humberside. [Interruption.] If hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like it, they might like to listen to it. This will allow local authorities to undertake a much more varied and less intense scheme of redevelopment at a reasonable cost. This is something that all hon. Members interested in slum clearance would welcome.
The improvement of houses, which is very important, is not a substitute but runs in parallel with the slum clearance scheme. Grants of 75 per cent. now being paid have been extended to mid-1974. In the region private owners took advantage of these improvement grants to the tune of 12,000 in 1970, 14,500 in 1971, and on present progress we expect they will be considerably higher this year.
The modernisation of council houses shows a similar dramatic improvement. There were 3,500 in 1970, 5,500 in 1971, and we expect about 12,000 this year.
General improvement areas, again of critical importance in some of these cities and towns in Yorkshire, have been going extremely well. Environmental grants are now half of up to £200 per house. There have been 47 areas declared in the region covering 15,000 houses. We are encouraging the local authorities to 162 do more. My Department is able and willing to help in any way.
Bradford, which has been mentioned particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Wilkinson), has done very well with five areas, including the largest in the country.
Dereliction of land has been mentioned. Undoubtedly all dereliction inhibits investment and reduces the quality of life for the people living there. It also scars much of the very beautiful countryside of Yorkshire. Various suggestions have been made about what we can do regarding derelictland. Local authorities and the Government, in partnership, are doing a great deal. At the end of 1970 12,400 acres were identified in the region as derelict, and the local authorities consider that 9,000 acres justify treatment. Already116 schemes have been approved covering 1,250 acres. An important point is that a considerable amount of this area will be used for industry, housing and agriculture, therefore turning it to most valuable use.
§ Mr. McNamara
Is the hon. Gentleman in a position to make a statement about the town docks system in Hull and the delay the corporation has suffered at the hands of the Government in getting a decision?
§ Mr. Speed
No. If the hon. Gentleman writes to me I will write to him about it. In fact, I will make a note of the point and write to him about it.
The special environmental assistance scheme, Operation Eye-sore, introduced only a few months ago, has been going extremely well. Only two days after joining the Department I went to Leeds to see the excellent progress which is being made there. Many small but important unsightly blemishes are being removed. These schemes also help the employment situation. There are 800 schemes under way in the region, at an approximate cost of £1.3 million, and many more in the pipeline. This is an area in which the local authorities and the Government, again in partnership, are effecting a dramatic improvement.
The economic regeneration of South Yorkshire was mentioned by hon. Gentlemen opposite. A regional strategy, prepared by the Regional Economic Planning Council, has been broadly endorsed 163 by the Government. The Regional Council has advised that efforts should be concentrated for industrial growth on four or five zones in the coalfield. These sites have been selected by the planning authorities. Five sites have been put forward and three so far have been accepted: Carlton Road, Barnsley, 100 acres; one near Doncaster, 400 acres; and Hellaby, Rotherham, 200 acres. In addition to these major schemes—others are underconsideration—local authorities have a lengthy list of smaller sites suitable for industry which they bring to the notice of developers.
The right hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling) asked about recycling and using waste and possibly building extractive plants. Recycling and reclamation depend on finding a market for the product at a reasonable price. I was in Gateshead last week. Gateshead has a tip for chemical waste which it has sold back to the chemical manufacturers, thereby making a profit for the local authority. The Department of Trade and Industry's regional office will pay special attention to recycling in the context of selective assistance.
My hon. Friend the Member for Howden (Sir P. Bryan) asked about local government reorganisation. I would rather not stray on to that topic. Selby Bridge will continue as a toll bridge under its private Act, which I understand dates back to the eighteenth century.
Both my hon. Friends the Members for Howden and Bradford, West mentioned the important question of retraining. My hon. Friend the Member for Howden was instrumental in doing much in this sphere for the country as a whole as well as for Yorkshire. There are 850 training places at Government training centres in the region, 200 new training places at Bradford to be provided by 1975 and 450 additional new places to be provided within the same time scale at other places.
The hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Ginsburg), who could not take part in the debate, has asked me to investigate the possible reopening of three mills in his constituency for industrial use. I have promised the hon. Gentleman that I will consider the position of these mills, which have been closed for some time, and contact him.
164 The hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Spence) questioned whether small firms advice bureaux will replace industrial liaison and office services. This matter is under consideration by my right hon. Friend and announcements will be made in due course.
The hon. Member for Huddersfield, East (Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu) raised questions about the yarn position. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, when he was in Japan recently, urged on the Japanese Government the need for orderly marketing both in yarn and other matters
The question of the rating of pitheads has been mentioned. I will look at this but I cannot hold out much hope. Spoil and waste from pits is being used. We have used a considerable section on M62 between Lofthouse and Ferrybridge. This is the sort of approach that my Department wishes to pursue.
On the question of grants to stop pollution, undoubtedly the consumer will have to pay for the cost of tackling pollution. I am doubtful about whether this is the best way.
I do not share the views of the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) about the wool textile industry. His arguments were effectively dealt with by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West. There is substantial industrial development going ahead in the south of Bradford on the Euroway scheme. At the same time in Bradford British Railways has an international freight depot underway at Low Moor. With the completion of the M62 the future for Bradford in particular is very bright.
The question of offices was mentioned by the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason). Today's Financial Timesshows that Leeds is now the fourth most important office centre after Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, outside London. It is growing in the use of office space at about 250,000 sq. ft. a year and has just under 5 million sq. ft. of office space.
The regional airport has been mentioned by many hon. Members. The major local authorities in the region have in commission a study by consultants. They are studying this report in con- 165 junction with the Civil Aviation Authority. It is for the Yorkshire authorities to decide in the first place whether they wish to follow up the consultants' conclusions or, indeed, bring forward their own conclusions. It is possible, whatever proposal they make, that my Department will be called upon at the end of a planning inquiry to adjudicate upon the matter. I can say no more about it at the moment.
§ Mr. Ben Ford (Bradford, North)
Will the Under-Secretary have it clearly in his mind beyond peradventure that, if there is no regional airport off the ground by 1975 and if there is no extension of the Leeds-Bradford airport at that time, there will be no scheduled services for the region?
§ Mr. Speed
I note the hon. Gentleman's comment. I have no doubt that all the comments which have been made in this debate will be noted by the local authorities in the region.
Apart from derogatory comments by some hon. Members opposite, little has been heard today on the question of company profitability. In view of the whole question of our regional policy, the most serious indictment of the Opposition is that by destroying profitability in their period of government they did more to hamper regional development than any other action they took.
§ What is needed in regional development are profitable companies paying good wages and reasonable dividends. If that message cannot get through to right hon. and hon. Members opposite, they still have an incredible amount to learn.
§ As my right hon. Friend has said, the new range of major regional incentives, the new developments of first-class communications by road, rail and sea, massive resources for improving the quality of life, improving old houses—[Interruption.] The comprehensive approach of our policies will assist Yorkshire and Humberside and improve the quality of life and jobs in a way that has never been done before.
§ The debate has been much better than the Motion in the name of the Opposition, which is a form of introverted guilt complex. The Motion is a form of words which, like so much of their thinking, is irrelevant to a solution of these problems and ignorant of the progress we are making in partnership with the people of Yorkshire. I invite the House to dismiss the Motion and accept the Governments Amendment.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 297, Noes 270.169
|Division No. 225.]||AYES||[10.00 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Bryan, Sir Paul||Drayson, G. B.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M)||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Buck, Antony||Dykes, Hugh|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Bullus, Sir Eric||Eden, Sir John|
|Astor, John||Burden, F. A.||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Emery, Peter|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Carlisle, Mark||Eyre, Reginald|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Farr, John|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Chapman, Sydney||Fell, Anthony|
|Batsford, Brian||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Chichester-Clark, R.||Fidler, Michael|
|Bell, Ronald||Churchill, W. S.||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles|
|Benyon, W.||Cockeram, Eric||Fookes, Miss Janet|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Cooke, Robert||Fortescue, Tim|
|Biffen, John||Coombs, Derek||Foster, Sir John|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Cooper, A. E.||Fowler, Norman|
|Blaker, Peter||Cordle, John||Fox, Marcus|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicestor S.W.)||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick||Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)|
|Body, Richard||Costain, A. P.||Fry, Peter|
|Boscawen, Robert||Critchley, Julian||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Crouch, David||Gardner, Edward|
|Bowden, Andrew||Crowder, F. P||Gibson-Watt, David|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)|
|Bray, Ronald||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)|
|Brewis, John||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James||Glyn, Dr. Alan|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Dean, Paul||Goodhart, Philip|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Goodhew, Victor|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Dixon, Piers||Gorst, John|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Gower, Raymond|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Gray, Hamish||MacArthur, Ian||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Green, Alan||McCrindle, R. A.||Rost, Peter|
|Grieve, Percy||McLaren, Martin||Royle, Anthony|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Grylls, Michael||Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Maurice (Farnham)||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Gummer, J. Selwyn||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Gurden, Harold||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Maddan, Martin||Sharples, Richard|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Madel, David||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Marten, Neil||Simeons, Charles|
|Hannam, John (Exeter)||Mather, Carol||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Mawby, Ray||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Soref, Harold|
|Hastings, Stephen||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Speed, Keith|
|Havers, Michael||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Spence, John|
|Hawkins, Paul||Miscampbell, Norman||Sproat, Iain|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)||Stainton, Keith|
|Heseltine, Michael||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Hicks, Robert||Moate, Roger||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Money, Ernle||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Hiley, Joseph||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Monro, Hector||Stokes, John|
|Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Montgomery, Fergus||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Holland, Philip||More, Jasper||Sutcliffe, John|
|Holt, Miss Mary||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hordern, Peter||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hornby, Richard||Morrison, Charles||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)|
|Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Mudd, David||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Murton, Oscar||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Tebbit, Norman|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Neave, Airey||Temple, John M.|
|Hunt, John||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Normanton, Tom||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Nott, John||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|James, David||Onslow, Cranley||Tilney, John|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Osborn, John||Trew, Peter|
|Jessel, Toby||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)|
|Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Jopling, Michael||Parkinson, Cecil||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Peel, John||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Percival, Ian||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Peyton, Rt. Hn, John||Waddington, David|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Kimball, Marcus||Pink, R. Bonner||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Wall, Patrick|
|Kinsey, J. R.||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Walters, Dennis|
|Kirk, Peter||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Kitson, Timothy||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Warren, Kenneth|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Knox, David||Raison, Timothy||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Lambton, Lord||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Lamont, Norman||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Wilkinson, John|
|Lane, David||Redmond, Robert||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rees, Peter (Dover)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Le Marchant, Spencer||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Worsley, Marcus|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Ridsdale, Julian||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Longden, Sir Gilbert||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Mr. Bernard Weatherill and|
|Loveridge, John||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Mr. Walters Clegg.|
|Luce, R. N.||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Abse, Leo||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)|
|Albu, Austen||Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Bidwell, Sydney||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Bishop, E. S.||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Ashley, Jack||Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Cant, R. B.|
|Ashton, Joe||Booth, Albert||Carmichael, Neil|
|Atkinson, Norman||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)|
|Barnes, Michael||Bradley, Tom||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Broughton, Sir Alfred||Clark, David (Colne Valley)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Brown, Bob (N'e'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Coleman, Donald||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Concannon, J. D.||John, Brynmor||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Pendry, Tom|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Pentland, Norman|
|Cronin, John||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Prescott, John|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Judd, Frank||Probert, Arthur|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Kaufman, Gerald||Rankin, John|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Kelley, Richard||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Kerr, Russell||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Kinnock, Neil||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Deakins, Eric||Lambie, David||Richard, Ivor|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Lamborn, Harry||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Lamond, James||Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Dempsey, James||Latham, Arthur||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Doig, Peter||Lawson, George||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Leadbitter, Ted||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Roper, John|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Leonard, Dick||Rose, Paul B.|
|Driberg, Tom||Lestor, Miss Joan||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Rowlands, Ted|
|Dunn, James A.||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Sandelson, Neville|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lipton, Marcus||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lomas, Kenneth||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Loughlin, Charles||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Sillars, James|
|Ellis, Tom||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Silverman, Julius|
|English, Michael||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, Fred||McBride, Neil||Small, William|
|Ewing, Harry||McCartney, Hugh||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Faulds, Andrew||McElhone, Frank||Spearing, Nigel|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)||McGuire, Michael||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stallard, A. W.|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mackie, John||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mackintosh, John P.||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Foot, Michael||Maclennan, Robert||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Ford, Ben||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Strang, Gavin|
|Forrester, John||McNamara, J. Kevin||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield. E.)||Swain, Thomas|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Marks, Kenneth||Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.)|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Marsden, F.||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Golding, John||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mayhew, Christopher||Tinn, James|
|Gourlay, Harry||Meacher, Michael||Tomney, Frank|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Torney, Tom|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Mendelson, John||Tuck, Raphael|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mikardo, Ian||Urwin, T. W.|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Millan, Bruce||Varley, Eric G.|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Milne, Edward||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Hamling, William||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Marybill)||Molloy, William||Wallace, George|
|Hardy, Peter||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Watkins, David|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Weitzman, David|
|Hattersley, Roy||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Moyle, Roland||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Hilton, W. S.||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Horam, John||Murray, Ronald King||Whitlock, William|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Oakes, Gordon||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Ogden, Eric||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Huckfield, Leslie||O'Halloran, Michael||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||O'Malley, Brian||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Oram, Bert||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Orbach, Maurice||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Orme, Stanley||Woof, Robert|
|Hunter, Adam||Oswald, Thomas|
|Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Janner, Greville||Padley, Walter||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Palmer, Arthur||Mr Walter Harrison.|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.171
§ Main Question, as amended, put:—172
§ The House divided: Ayes 297, Noes 270.175
|Division No. 226.]||AYES||[10.12 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Fookes, Miss Janet||Le Merchant, Spencer|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Fortescue, Tim||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Foster, Sir John||Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield)|
|Astor, John||Fowler, Norman||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fox, Marcus||Longden, Sir Gilbert|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)||Loveridge, John|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Fry, Peter||Luce, R. N.|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Gardner, Edward||MacArthur, Ian|
|Batsford, Brian||Gibson-Watt, David||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||McLaren, Martin|
|Bell, Ronald||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Maurice (Farnham)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Goodhart, Philip||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Benyon, W.||Goodhew, Victor||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Gorst, John||Maddan, Martin|
|Biffen, John||Gower, Raymond||Madel, David|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Blaker, Peter||Gray, Hamish||Marten, Neil|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Green, Alan||Mather, Carol|
|Body, Richard||Grieve, Percy||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mawby, Ray|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Grylls, Michael||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Bowden, Andrew||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Gurden, Harold||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Bray, Ronald||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Brewis, John||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Moate, Roger|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Money, Ernles|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Monro, Hector|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M)||Haselhurst, Alan||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Buck, Antony||Hastings, Stephen||More, Jasper|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Havers, Michael||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Burden, F. A.||Hawkins, Paul||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hayhoe, Barney||Morrison, Charles|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Heseltine, Michael||Mudd, David|
|Carlisle, Mark||Hicks, Robert||Murton, Oscar|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Higgins, Terence L.||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hiley, Joseph||Neave, Airey|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Churchill, W. S.||Holland, Philip||Normanton, Tom|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Holt, Miss Mary||Nott, John|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hordern, Peter||Onslow, Cranley|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hornby, Richard||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Cooke, Robert||Hornsby-Smith.Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Osborn, John|
|Coombs, Derek||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Cooper, A. E.||Howell, David (Guildford)||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)|
|Cordle, John||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick||Hunt, John||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Costain, A. P.||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Peel, John|
|Critchley, Julian||Iremonger, T. L.||Percival, Ian|
|Crouch, David||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Crowder, F. P.||James, David||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James||Jessel, Toby||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Dean, Paul||Johnson Smith. G. (E. Grinstead)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Dixon, Piers||Jopling, Michael||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Raison, Timothy|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kershaw, Anthony||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Eden, Sir John||Kimball, Marcus||Redmond, Robert|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Emery, Peter||Kinsey, J. R.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Eyre, Reginald||Kirk, Peter||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Farr, John||Kitson, Timothy||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Fell, Anthony||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Knox, David||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Fidler, Michael||Lambton, Lord||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Lamont, Norman||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Lane, David||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Rost, Peter||Stokes, John||Waddington, David|
|Royle, Anthony||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Russell, Sir Ronald||Sutcliffe, John||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|St. John-Stevas, Norman||Tapsell, Peter||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Wall, Patrick|
|Scott, Nicholas||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)||Walters, Dennis|
|Sharples, Richard||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Tebbit, Norman||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Simeons, Charles||Temple, John M.||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Wilkinson, John|
|Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Soref, Harold||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Speed, Keith||Tilney, John||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Spence, John||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Worsley, Marcus|
|Sproat, Iain||Trew, Peter||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Stainton, Keith||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||van Straubenzee, W. R||Mr. Bernard Weatherill and|
|Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||Mr. Walter Clegg.|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Abse, Leo||Dormand, J. D.||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)|
|Albu, Austen||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E)||John, Brynmor|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Driberg, Tom||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Duffy, A. E. P.||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)|
|Ashley, Jack||Dunn, James A.||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Ashton, Joe||Dunnett, Jack||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Eadie, Alex||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Edelman, Maurice||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)|
|Barnes, Michael||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Edwards, William (Merloneth)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Ellis, Tom||Judd, Frank|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||English, Michael||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow,Bridgeton)||Evans, Fred||Kelley, Richard|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Ewing, Harry||Kerr, Russell|
|Bishop, E. S.||Faulds, Andrew||Kinnock, Neil|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)||Lambie, David|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Booth, Albert||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Lamond, James|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Latham, Arthur|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Foot, Michael||Lawson, George|
|Bradley, Tom||Ford, Ben||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Forrester, John||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Leonard, Dick|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Freeson, Reginald||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Gilbert, Dr. John||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Golding, John||Lipton, Marcus|
|Cant, R. B.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Carmichael, Neil||Gourlay, Harry||Loughlin, Charles|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||McBride, Neil|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||McCartney, Hugh|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||McElhone, Frank|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||McGuire, Michael|
|Coleman, Donald||Hamling, William||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Mackie, John|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hardy, Peter||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Maclennan, Robert|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Hattersley, Roy||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Cronin, John||Heffer, Eric S.||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Hilton, W. S.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Horam, John||Marks, Kenneth|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Marsden, F.|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund|
|Dalyell, Tam||Huckfield, Leslie||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Davidson, Arthur||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Meacher, Michael|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Mendelson, John|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Hunter, Adam||Mikardo, Ian|
|Deakins, Eric||Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill)||Millan, Bruce|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Janner, Greville||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Milne, Edward|
|Dempsey, James||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Mitchell, R.C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Doig, Peter||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Molloy, William|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.)|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Richard, Ivor||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Moyle, Roland||Roberts,Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Tinn, James|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Tomney, Frank|
|Murray, Ronald King||Roderick, CaerwynE.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)||Torney, Tom|
|Oakes, Gordon||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Ogden, Eric||Roper, John||Urwin, T. W.|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Rose, Paul B.||Varley, Eric G.|
|O'Malley, Brian||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Oram, Bert||Rowlands, Ted||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Orbach, Maurice||Sandelson, Neville||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Orme, Stanley||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Wallace, George|
|Oswald, Thomas||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Watkins, David|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Weitzman, David|
|Padley, Walter||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Palmer, Arthur||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Panned, Rt. Hn. Charles||Sillars, James||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Silverman, Julius||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Skinner, Dennis||Whitlock, William|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Small, William||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Pendry, Tom||Spearing, Nigel||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Pentland, Norman||Spriggs, Leslie||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Perry, Ernest G.||Stallard, A. W.||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Prescott, John||Stoddart, David (Swindon)||Woof, Robert|
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Price, William (Rugby)||Strang, Gavin||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Probert, Arthur||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Rankin, John||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley||Mr. Walter Harrison.|
|Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Swain, Thomas|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ That this House welcomes the decision of Her Majesty's Government to make the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside an intermediate area, the introduction of cash grants towards 176 capital expenditure on buildings, the expansion of the road building programme, and in particular the Humber Bridge scheme; and endorses the Government's measure to obtain a sustained and faster growth rate in the economy and so bring permanent improvements in employment and living standards throughout Britain.