HC Deb 26 May 1960 vol 624 cc68-9W
59. Mr. Pentland

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the high level of unemployment prevailing in most areas of the County of Durham and of the urgent need for industrial development over the next few years, he will bring forward a plan which would make provision for Her Majesty's Government to establish individual Government factories and consult with the nationalised industries with a view to their setting up subsidiary firms in these areas.

Mr. J. Rodgers

There are about 17,000 new jobs in prospect in County Durham. While they should go far to reduce the level of unemployment, my right hon. Friend agrees that more employment needs to be found. But it is the view of the Government that this is best done by the Board of Trade continuing its efforts to steer industry to those parts of the county which most need it and not by the establishment of Government operated factories. The nationalised industries are free to carry on their activities in accordance with their commercial judgment, but I am confident that they bear in mind, when considering new developments, the needs of places with serious unemployment problems.