HC Deb 04 April 1974 vol 871 cc1441-2
Q8. Mr. Horam

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Tyneside.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so, Sir.

Mr. Horam

I thank my right hon. Friend for the decision to continue the regional employment premium, which was the subject of a long campaign by many of us in the last Parliament. In setting the Government's priorities, will he consider the need for providing a proper manpower and retraining policy, which is vital both nationally and regionally?

The Prime Minister

The regional employment premium, which was introduced by the last Labour Government, is being continued for the present, as my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has stated. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment is giving very high priority to manpower and retraining policy.

Mr. Beith

If the right hon. Gentleman should pay such a visit to Tyneside, will be also consider the problems of the rural areas of Northumberland outside the special development areas, because, although the retention of the regional employment premium is welcome, the problems of unemployment in such areas also need consideration?

The Prime Minister

I shall certainly bear that point in mind. Rural unemployment or sheer lack of growth is as much a problem in many rural areas as in congested urban areas.

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