HC Deb 16 December 1952 vol 509 c153W
Mr. Burden

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now able to make a statement about the general conclusions reached by Sir Thomas Phillips and Sir Edward Gillett in their confidential examination on his behalf of the Board of Trade Development Area Organisation.

Mr. H. Strauss

The main conclusions may be summarised as follow:

  1. 1. The Estate Companies should continue to manage the estates in the Development Areas and to supervise new construction, as agents of the Board.
  2. 2. The best type of Board to manage the estates would be a small body consisting of a chairman, a few members with suitable professional qualifications, a trade unionist and an employer.
  3. 3. A change to such a Board could probably not be made immediately in all cases and perhaps not in any. In that event directors with appropriate professional qualifications should be added to the Boards of Estate Companies which did not already include them and the ordinary business of management should be delegated to a small management committee.
  4. 4. The Board of Trade must retain detailed control of expenditure on capital account more or less on existing lines, but they should consider, with the Estate Companies, whether some relaxations could be made.
  5. 5. It is neither practicable nor desirable for the Board of Trade to exercise detailed control of expenditure on revenue account, but in order to provide a general standard, a "yardstick" should be devised, which would give each company an idea of the maximum administrative costs they should incur.
  6. 6. A National Industrial Estates Board should not be established, but representatives of the Estate Companies should be fully consulted through a consultative committee on all suitable matters.

I now propose to discuss these conclusions and recommendations with representatives of the Estate Companies.