Assistance Under Section 8 of the Industry Act 1972

Part of Orders of the Day — Industry Bill – in the House of Commons at 10:45 pm on 18th June 1980.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Urwin Mr Thomas Urwin , Houghton-le-Spring 10:45 pm, 18th June 1980

I support my hon. Friend the Member for Whitehaven (Dr. Cunningham) in the excellent manner in which he opposed the amendment. I also support most of the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer).

To a very large extent, we are now in the same situation as we were in 1970 and 1971, especially in the first year of the previous Conservative Government, when all the hesitations and consultations that were taking place about the presentation of their regional policy created a complete crisis of confidence in industry. We face the same position now—high interest rates, and the deliberate destructive efforts by the Government to dismantle the regional policy which they inherited and which, despite anything that Conservative Members may say, achieved a very large measure of success in the development areas.

I view with a great deal of horror and revulsion the attitude of the hon. Member for Knutsford (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) when we talk about unemployment almost at unparalleled levels. It is certainly at the highest level since the end of the last war in Scotland, in the Northern region, on Merseyside and in the South-West.