HL Deb 10 May 1983 vol 442 cc424-5
Lord Denham

My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen to acquaint the House that Her Majesty, having been informed of the purport of the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Bill, has consented to place her prerogatives and interests, as far as they are affected by the Bill, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security

(Lord Trefgarne): My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time—[Lord Trefgarne.]

Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos

My Lords, when we had our debates in Committee yesterday, I asked the noble Lord about rural development areas. He then explained that they would be designated by the new commission. I asked him to consider the special position of Wales and Scotland and those rural areas in Scotland which are outside the boundaries of the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the rural areas in Wales which are outside the designated boundaries of the Mid-Wales Rural Development Board. In both cases the areas concerned will come under the aegis of the Welsh Development Agency and, in Scotland, under the Scottish Development Agency.

The quesion is whether the agencies will be able to designate some of the rural areas in Scotland and Wales outside these boundaries as rural development areas to receive the benefits of the administration of the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas. I made the point yesterday that these designations of special rural areas in Scotland and Wales were made because of problems which exist in those areas, such as depopulation, high unemployment and so on, which are well known to the House. The rural areas of England are now to receive the benfits of the administration of the new commission, and all that that involves in terms of resources, and CoSIRA operating in these regions able to help new industries to establish there. I want to know from the noble Lord whether, under the new dispensation, these areas of Scotland and Wales—where there is unquestionably high unemployment and severe depopulation, in some cases—will be able to be designated as rural development areas with all that that means.

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, although the point raised by the noble Lord does not precisely fall within the ambits of the Bill, he is quite entitled to raise it, as he did yesterday. I undertook to write to him. I repeat that undertaking now and will be happy to provide a copy of the letter to the noble Lord, Lord Ross of Marnock.

On Question, Bill read a third time, and passed.