Mr Edward Milne: Is my hon. Friend aware that many of the jobs listed for the Blyth constituency and elsewhere are delayed because one or two firms in particular are dragging their feet on this matter? Will he see that in the negotiations with those firms about development grants the speeding-up of the timetable between the payment of the grant and the actual employment of the people by the firms is looked...
Mr Edward Milne: Is my right hon. Friend aware that while I welcome this suggestion about the British Railways network, I find that in his answers to questions he has been less than forthcoming about the question of the east coast line? While, as he rightly says, it is the responsibility of British Railways, will he ensure that the Newcastle to Edinburgh and the Newcastle to London east coast links are...
Mr Edward Milne: Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that his Government neglected investment in the capital-intensive industries? While it is easy now to talk about not giving incentives to capital-intensive industries, it is only by these industries that we are able to attract ancillary industries, which come to the North-East in their wake.
Mr Edward Milne: asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will undertake to examine the possibilities for the purchase of plant, equipment and agricultural machinery in the North-East and other development districts of Great Britain in order to give further aid to the underdeveloped parts of the world and thus benefit peoples both at home and overseas.
Mr Edward Milne: Whilst I welcome that reply, it does not really go far enough in tackling the problem. Is my hon. Friend aware that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister mooted the idea two or three years ago? If the factories in the development districts are not available, will my hon. Friend talk to the Departments concerned about the possibility of setting them up so that we get mutual aid both at home...
Mr Edward Milne: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the date for the publication of the Reddaway Report on selective employment tax; and what section of the service and distributive trades the report will cover.
Mr Edward Milne: I thank my hon. Friend for giving the date of the appearance of the report, but is not he aware that action was taken in the last Budget in relation to selective employment tax without there being a report? Cannot we look at the Reddaway Report against the background of the purposes for which it was intended, and do something before the Budget without necessarily involving a change in the tax?
Mr Edward Milne: Is my right hon. Friend aware that the opportunity provided in the White Paper for further discussions with the local authorities will be welcome, particularly in Northumberland. However, in view of the fact that the pace of change will be determined in months rather than weeks, as my right hon. Friend has said, will he look at the question of the local government staff commission and at that...
Mr Edward Milne: Dealing with the Mineworkers Redundancy Payments Order will my right hon. Friend ask the Department concerned to hold an inquiry into this with a view to an early debate after we return?
Mr Edward Milne: Is my right hon. Friend aware that the E.F.T.A. agreement provides us with a foothold in Europe at the moment and that if we are to have wider European unity the question of association with our E.F.T.A. partners is important? This is why we welcome the recent agreement, and look forward to its development.
Mr Edward Milne: asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give details of plans for the expansion of timber output in the Kielder Forest in the 1970s; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Edward Milne: I thank my hon. Friend very warmly for his reply as it represents a considerable expansion which will be to the benefit of Northumberland in which the Kielder Forest will play an increasingly central part.
Mr Edward Milne: Is my right hon. Friend aware that while he talks about Britain needing Europe and Europe needing Britain, E.F.T.A. still represents our major foothold in Europe, that improvements in European unity began only when a Social Democrat Government were returned in Germany, and that possibly prospects for reconciliation between Eastern and Western Europe are our best indications at present?
Mr Edward Milne: Is not my hon. Friend aware that my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) is perfectly entitled to ask these questions and equally entitled to ask for a reply, and that the answer to his question, instead of being helpful to the cause of European unity, is the reverse?
Mr Edward Milne: While agreeing that incentives to the North-East are having a valuable effect on the economy there, would not my right hon. Friend also look at the effect of the selective employment tax, since its removal would give us a diversity of industry which is lacking at the moment in our development?
Mr Edward Milne: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to receive the report of the Reddaway Committee on selective employment tax; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Edward Milne: Can my hon. Friend speed up the issue of this report and its examination by his Department, in view of the widespread disquiet arising from this tax, which affects employment?
Mr Edward Milne: The debate on the economy of the Northern region has been exceptionally wide-ranging. I join with other hon. Members in thanking my hon. Friend the Member for Consett (Mr. David Watkins) for his choice of subject and I support the terms of his Motion. It would be easy, and indeed tempting, to make comparisons between the efforts and activities of respective Governments in this matter. There...
Mr Edward Milne: I beg to move, That this House urges Her Majesty's Government to implement the major proposals contained in the report entitled Planning and People. It gives me—
Mr Edward Milne: asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she will make arrangements for an examination of manufacturing costs and retail prices in the main field of consumer spending, with a view to establishing some degree of prices stability.