HC Deb 20 March 1972 vol 833 cc1059-60
14. Mr. Edwin Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is aware that the British Domestic Appliances Limited factory at Swinton, Mexborough, has decided to make 600 employees redundant, thus aggravating the number of unemployed in the Mexborough and district areas; and what are his plans to provide new jobs in this part of Yorkshire.

Mr. Anthony Grant

Yes, Sir. The Department will continue to use all the means available to it to encourage the development of new industry in Mexborough and the surrounding districts of this intermediate area.

Mr. Wainwright

When will the Department of Trade and Industry take unemployment seriously? This area needs jobs in thousands, not in one or two hundreds. When will the Department do something to discourage firms like British Domestic Appliances Ltd., which, due to losing markets, has now created 600 redundancies? Is it not time that this part of Yorkshire was declared a development area?

Mr. Grant

I understand the hon. Member's quite proper concern for unemployment. On the broad point he would do well to await the results of the regional review to which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has referred. On the specific issue of British Domestic Appliances Ltd. I understand that there has been a temporary stay in the execution of redundancy notices pending meetings between management and unions and there will be another meeting this week, which I hope will be satisfactory to all parties.

Mr. Kinsey

This is an important matter for the whole country, and where closures occur for economic reasons and to cheapen prices we can only accept them. Will my hon. Friend keep his eye on firms which are doing asset-stripping and try to take action to protect the workers?

Mr. Grant

If my hon. Friend gives me specific examples we shall study them very carefully.