Distribution of Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th November 1954.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North 12:00 am, 9th November 1954

asked the President of the Board of Trade by what method, in the absence of building licensing, he proposes to carry out the policy of securing a balanced distribution of industry throughout the country.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

By appropriate use of the powers conferred by the Distribution of Industry Acts, 1945 and 1950, and Section 14 (4) of the Town and Country Planning Act. 1947, and by advice to industrialists wishing to establish new factories.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Is the Minister quite satisfied that the provision of the Town and Country Planning Act is applicable not merely to the balanced distribution of industry within the locality but to the balance of distribution throughout the country between congested and underemployed areas?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

The right hon Gentleman is aware of the complexity of this problem. The control of this matter by licensing was replaced by the method under the Town and Country Planning Act by a decision taken in the lifetime of the previous Government, and was, I think, inevitable unless building licensing were to be permanent.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

The abandoning of building licences raises this question in an acute form, and it is important to know what are the powers.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

The powers are those that I stated. Even before the formal abolition of building licences, the method of inducing industry to go to specific places was that started and developed in the lifetime of the previous Government.