Norwich and Norfolk

Oral Answers to Questions — Industry, Trade and Regional Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th December 1963.

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Photo of Mr John Paton Mr John Paton , Norwich North 12:00 am, 12th December 1963

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development if, in view of the abnormal volume of unemployment in Norwich and Norfolk, he will take steps to provide more jobs in the area.

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

I would not be justified in taking any special steps to attract new industry to Norwich or to Norfolk, where unemployment is only a little higher than the national average.

Photo of Mr John Paton Mr John Paton , Norwich North

Is the Minister aware that this is another of those areas where there are quite special difficulties with regard to employment Is he aware that when men and women become unemployed in Norfolk and round Norwich it is almost impossible to find any other kind of suitable job at all? Will he consider getting new industries into the area to provide a variety of jobs, and will he use his powers to encourage that?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

At the moment there are a considerable number of jobs in prospect. There are 900 at Norwich and 2,000 for the rest of the county. As the hon. Gentleman will know, The ford and King's Lynn have agreements to take London overspill, together with industry.

Photo of Mr Albert Hilton Mr Albert Hilton , South West Norfolk

Would the Minister look at the position of men in the rural areas and in the small market towns, where very often the only form of employment is agricultural and the number of workers is decreasing, which is causing a problem?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

My hon. Friend has given that assurance.