South-West (Economic Development)

Oral Answers to Questions — Economic Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd June 1965.

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Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington 12:00 am, 3rd June 1965

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what decisions the new Economic Planning Council for the South-West have taken as regards the economic development in the South-West.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

The Council has held only one meeting and it is therefore too early for it to have formulated advice on economic development within the region.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

Would not the Minister agree that one decision which the Council could make, and fairly urgently, is to reverse the decision of the Board of Trade which has refused industrial development certificates to small companies to come to the South-West? As the small companies are vital for economic progress, will the Council be able to do something about the matter?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

If the hon. Gentleman has a specific case and he would like to refer it to my right hon. Friend or myself, we will consider it. Now that we have the Council in the region, this is a first-class piece of machinery to use for this purpose.

Photo of Sir Rolf Williams Sir Rolf Williams , Exeter

Will the right hon. Gentleman draw the attention of the South-West office at Bristol to the necessity for improving the carriage of freight by air in the South-West? Will he see whether it can give assistance in that respect?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

Certainly. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman might ask the Council to look at that.