HC Deb 27 November 1991 vol 199 c909
14. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next intends to meet representatives of the European Commission to discuss regional policy and the implications for the manufacturing sector of industry.

Mr. Leigh

I met other European Ministers responsible for regional policy and Mr. Bruce Milian, the responsible member of the Commission, at The Hague on 18 and 19 November. Several of the issues discussed have implications for the manufacturing sector.

Mr. Pike

Is the Minister alarmed that reports by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that United Kingdom investment per person in the manufacturing sector is the lowest, apart from that of Greece, in the European Community? Is he concerned about that? Does he understand that our manufacturing regions, such as the north-west, believe that the Government are not interested in the regions or in manufacturing industry?

Mr. Leigh

That is absolute nonsense. If it were true, why am I, as responsible Minister, spending £567 million of taxpayers' money over the current public expenditure survey round on regional policy?