Development Areas

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th February 1966.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn 12:00 am, 17th February 1966

asked the President of the Board of Trade what criteria, apart from unemployment, he is now taking into account in designating development areas.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

As explained in Command Paper 2874, the development areas will be chosen with reference to the Government's wider regional policies and will take account of all relevant economic circumstances. In particular, account will be taken of such factors as population change, including migration, and employment trends as well as the level of unemployment.

Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the scandalous variations in earnings between different regions and the fact that earnings in parts of East Anglia just about equal National Assistance in the development areas? Will he give an assurance that the lines of division in the White Paper on investment allowances will not be the last word when legislation is introduced?

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

Yes, Sir. I think that my hon. Friend knows, because of his persistent questioning, which I very much welcome, that we are taking earnings into account in some circumstances, and we will certainly follow up the last part of his question.

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

Is it not entirely inconsistent with the Government's designation of the new development areas, thus getting away from the concept of smaller development districts, that they should have excluded from the development areas, as it were, pockets of non-development areas, such as Edinburgh, North Wales and South Wales?

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

At the moment we are discussing King's Lynn.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

In regard to King's Lynn—[Interruption.] If I can take King's Lynn as an example of the issues which my hon. Friend raised in the Question, King's Lynn has an overspill arrangement with London which we think will work out just as satisfactorily as treating it as a development district, and I am assured that this is how it will work.