§ 63. Mr. Grey
asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent the list of development districts published on 9th February was made available to the British Motor Corporation and Fords before they announced their decision with regard to new plants in the provinces; and what assurances were given to these firms that they would be given assistance under the Local Employment Bill.
§ Mr. Maudling
The Answer to the first part is "Not at all". And, to the second, that negotiation with motor car firms has been on the basis of existing legislation, and in the knowledge that the Local Employment Bill proposes new inducements.
§ Dame Irene Ward
asked the President of the Board of Trade, in connection with the recent arrangements he made for the purpose, which motor-car firms in search of sites visited the North-East coast and on what dates; which sites were visited; and which civic authorities industrialists and trades unionists were invited to meet them.
§ Mr. Maudling
Representatives of two companies visited the North East on 10th and 24th-25th January, respectively, and were shown by my Regional Controller a number of sites of up to 400 acres within easy reach of the high unemployment areas; they were also given detailed information about the labour available, transport facilities, services, the availability of materials and components, and other relevant matters. The companies wished to keep these visits private, and no meetings were therefore arranged for them.