It is for the Committee to decide whether visits to any type of area will help them in their inquiries. My Department is, of course, ready to assist in making any arrangements the Committee may need.
This is a matter for the Committee to decide. It has invited evidence, but should it feel that that written evidence could be supplemented usefully by visits to the area, no doubt it will consider such a proposal.
I would refer my hon. Friends to the Answer given on 9th November to similar Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig) and the hon. and learned Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke).—[Vol. 753, c. 1235–7.]
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this Report in anxiously awaited in South Wales, particularly in Newport, which employs many people from the mining valleys of Monmouthshire, and that firms in the town are waiting for this Report before deciding on future development plans?
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in Derbyshire we, too, are patiently waiting for this report but that our patience is fast running out? In Derbyshire we have 7 per cent. unemployment in one of the grey areas, and by the time that we get the report our percentage will be higher than that of most of the development districts in the country?
One of the points with which it will need to deal is the criteria by which one can define an intermediate area. As the hon. Member may have noticed from Questions on the subject, hon. Members are speaking against a background of very different conditions in different parts of the country, and there is a big job to be done of analysis before proposals can be made.