HC Deb 20 December 1960 vol 632 cc144-6W
73. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new industries have been established in the areas in Wales which are scheduled under the Local Employment Act; and what are the prospects of new industries being established in these areas in 1961.

Mr. N. Macpherson

In the period since 1st April, 1960, when the Local Employment Act came into operation, until the end of November, the new industrial buildings and extensions approved in development districts in Wales have totalled 867,000 sq. ft. In addition, the Holyhead Advance Factory, of approximately 25,000 sq. ft., was let during this period. Some 9,000 new jobs are estimated as likely to accrue in development districts in Wales from these and other projects and expansions, though most of them will not be provided until after 1961. Progress achieved in some of these districts has been such that my right hon. Friend hopes to be able shortly to remove them from the list; he will continue to do all he can to attract new industry to the remaining districts.

74. Mr. Pentland

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the fact that the Local Employment Act has not brought about any marked reduction in unemployment in the north-east of England, what further measures he now proposes to take to bring new industries into the area and to stimulate an expansion of production in existing industries.

Mr. N. Macpherson

While the rate of unemployment in development districts in the North-Fast has fallen from 5.3 per cent. in March, 1960, to 4.4 per cent. last month, it is too early for the effects of the Local Employment Act, which only came into force on 1st April, 1960, to be gauged by the reduction in unemployment so far achieved. There are about 9,000 additional jobs in prospect in these districts alone.

75. Mr. Pentland

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will consider bringing forward new proposals to assist industrial concerns in areas of the United Kingdom where a high rate of unemployment exists, when, because of financial difficulties, such firms are unable to expand their export trade, particularly with the eastern countries.

Mr. N. Macpherson

No. Powers already exist under the Local Employment Act to offer financial assistance, including loans for working capital, to firms in development districts if they put forward projects likely to provide employment appropriate to the needs of the district.