North-East England

Oral Answers to Questions — Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23 July 1979.

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Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington 12:00, 23 July 1979

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on his recent visit to the North-East of England.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

The listening, discussing and visiting were helpful to me. I found much agreement that enterprise and competitiveness are important.

Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the North-East his visit was regarded as a cosmetic farce and that the lack of serious discussion has caused great annoyance, not least among the trade unions? In the light of the damage that his regional policy statement has done—to say nothing of the damage that will be done by his statement on shipbuilding this afternoon—will he now consider the establishment of a Northern development agency, which has been agreed by the CBI and the TUC in the North—perhaps the only thing they have ever agreed upon?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I think that the people of the North-East should take some credit for persuading me that the grants under the regional development scheme should remain the same in the special development areas.

Photo of Mr Giles Radice Mr Giles Radice , Chester-le-Street

How much extra unemployment will be created in the Northern region by the measures announced by the right hon. Gentleman last week?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

The intellectually honest answer I can give is "None", and I shall explain why in tomorrow's debate.