§ 1. Mr. Harry Greenway:
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what regional selective assistance has been given in the past 12 months in (a) west London and (b) Greater London, and in respect of how many intended new jobs; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Minister for Industry (Mr. Tim Sainsbury)
The locations identified are not at present designated as assisted areas and, therefore, projects in those areas do not qualify for regional selective assistance. The assisted area map is being reviewed.
§ Mr. Greenway
Does my right hon. Friend accept that we in Ealing respect his effort for jobs in the east London corridor, but ask him to remember west London? Is he aware that 10 years ago all the Hoover jobs were sucked out of Ealing and went to Scotland and Wales and that it has taken us 10 years to get jobs back on that site, which we did last week with the opening of a Tesco store? Will he try in any way that he can to give proper help to west London, and especially to Ealing where we can do with it?
§ Mr. Sainsbury
I am happy to assure my hon. Friend that I am looking carefully at the submissions from his London borough of Ealing and other west London boroughs. Those submissions will be carefully considered and the requests from west London will certainly not be overlooked.
§ Mr. Soley
Is the Minister aware that London has never before needed the special pleading that it now needs as a result of the Government's economic policies? Will he bear in mind the Engineering Employers Federation view about London, which I fully share, that the lack of an industrial base is at the root not only of Britain's economic problems but of those of west London and London in general? Until the Government take engineering and manufacturing seriously and put real money into them, as other countries do, we shall continue to have a weak pound and a weak economy.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
I hope that the hon. Gentleman is aware of the performance by British manufacturing industry and the extent to which it has improved not only its productivity but its output and, in particular, its exports over the past decade. He will be aware that manufacturing employment is important in London, but that it forms a 248 lower proportion of total employment than in most other areas. We shall certainly take account of unemployment in London and all other relevant facts when reviewing the matter.