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?
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.
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?
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?
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.