Ayr and Prestwick

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th May 1963.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr 12:00 am, 16th May 1963

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will designate the burghs of Ayr and Prestwick as a development district.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr

In view of that somewhat unsatisfactory reply by my hon. Friend, could he say exactly what degree of need or unemployment in an area must justify its being declared a development district?

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

As my hon. Friend knows, as a result of correspondence which we have had, there is no fixed statistical level of unemployment which qualifies an area for inclusion in the list of development districts. We have to look at both the current level of unemployment and its likely persistency, and we also have to take into account the general incidence of unemployment over the country as a whole.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Has the Minister no sympathy whatever with his hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore)? Is he aware that at the last election his hon. Friend prophesied full- time employment under a Conservative Government and that this is the worst forecast that has ever appeared in Old Moore's Almanack?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

If the Minister is not prepared to consider these two worthy burghs in isolation, will he not give part of Scotland at least the benefit of new thinking in relation to a wider area and consider scheduling the whole of Ayrshire, which would not only meet the needs of the two burghs concerned, but would meet the demands of the Scottish Council that we should think also in terms of growth points?

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

I cannot give an undertaking to schedule the whole of Ayrshire, but I certainly undertake to my hon. Friend and to the hon. Member that we will keep these matters under very close review.