Merseyside

Oral Answers to Questions — Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1976.

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Photo of Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk , Ormskirk 12:00 am, 1st March 1976

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what further plans he has to stimulate investment on Mersey-side and to improve its long-term employment prospects.

Photo of Mr Gregor Mackenzie Mr Gregor Mackenzie , Rutherglen

We shall continue to call attention to the regional incentives available in the Merseyside Special Development Area.

Photo of Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk , Ormskirk

Does my hon. Friend accept that Merseyside's unemployment problem is not merely a result of the world recession but that it is suffering from a structural, long-term decline? Will he, first, review the long-term investment needs of the region to ensure stability of employment prospects for the future? Secondly, will he locate the headquarters of British Aerospace and British Shipbuilders on Merseyside as an act of faith in the area and as a boost to the confidence of its people? Thirdly, will he set up a Merseyside development agency analogous to the Development Agencies for Wales and Scotland?

Photo of Mr Gregor Mackenzie Mr Gregor Mackenzie , Rutherglen

One of the first acts of the present Government was to make Merseyside a special development area, with all the advantages that that gives. The siting of the headquarters of British Aerospace and British Shipbuilders is still subject to discussion. The question of a Merseyside development agency is, I understand, to be the subject of a debate. I shall be interested to hear my hon. Friend's views then.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I appeal to hon. Members once again to cut the preamble and come to the question.