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Clause 1. — (Machinery and Plant.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Industrial Development Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th August 1966.

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Photo of Mr John Hynd Mr John Hynd , Sheffield, Attercliffe 12:00 am, 11th August 1966

I agree, but I gather that one of the reasons for investment grants, and so on, for productive industry is to enable that industry to build up its products to satisfy customers, whereas in this case the customers are there and the facilities are not being made available by the industry.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned Sheffield. I do not think that there has been much difficulty about the building of new hotels in Sheffield. Two enormous luxury hotels have been built there during the last two or three years and I have not heard that they are doing too badly. Judging by the prices which they charge, they do not seem to be short of visitors and I do not think that they could show a need for a Government subsidy. I am only asking for more information so that I can satisfy my constituents that public money is being justifiably spent, if the Amendment is accepted.

We were told that certain hotel organisations were holding back from development or cancelling developments, presumably because of the Government's failure to be more forthcoming with public subsidies. Of course, we must try to build up the tourist industry, but if we are to spend a lot of public money on doing so, is there any reason why we should not do as some other countries have done and build and run a series of hotels in tourist areas as public enterprises?

I am sure that many hon. Members will have had the pleasure of visiting Greece, for instance, during the last two or three years, as I have. I have found that the most reliable and the best hotels which I could find at reasonable prices and with very high standards were the Xenia hotels which are Government-built and owned and which do extremely well. It succeeds there, and I do not see why it should not succeed here. Has any thought been given to that aspect of the matter? In short, I am concerned only with justifying, one way or another, the amount of money proposed to be handed out.