Mr Derek Page: Does my right hon. Friend consider that it is socially just to take taxes and to divert industry from the abysmally low-earning areas of East Anglia in order to send help to the development areas? Is it not time that we rethought our priorities with regard to regional development?
Mr Derek Page: asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the coordination of Ministerial Departments concerned with problems of overspill; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Derek Page: Is my right hon Friend aware that there is constant difficulty in co-ordinating the industrial build-up with housing construction in our overspill towns? Will he take steps to see that the flow of industry to towns such as King's Lynn is adequate for the building programme?
Mr Derek Page: asked the Minister of Transport what steps she is taking to prevent possible dislocation of industrial development in expanding towns, due to the effect of the 100-mile limit proposed for quantity licensing of heavy goods vehicles.
Mr Derek Page: Is my hon. Friend aware that transport to and from London to the outlying areas of East Anglia is of the greatest importance to developing industry, and that there have been some fears that firms might be tempted to move inside areas which appear to be less than 100 miles from London? Will he give an assurance that the radius from London which covers King's Lynn rather than road mileage will...
Mr Derek Page: asked the Minister of Transport whether she will take steps to expedite the flow of traffic along the A47 road at its junction with the entrance to the Hardwick Road industrial estate.
Mr Derek Page: Is my hon. Friend aware that the blockages at this junction already mean delays of 25 minutes or half an hour even in the winter months and that in the summer delays with holiday traffic are absolutely intolerable? Will he continue to keep a close eye on the need for improvements?
Mr Derek Page: It was suggested earlier that the right hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Godber) would never be on the Government Front Bench again. I am not so sure. He has proved himself honourable and knowledgable, and his joining the Labour Party is, I think, only a matter of time. Be that as it may, I am glad to have been able to play a part in the pioneering work of the Select Committee. I congratulate...
Mr Derek Page: asked the Prime Minister if the public speech of the Minister of Labour on incomes policy at the Amalgamated Engineering Union national committee meeting on 25th April represents Government policy.
Mr Derek Page: Does not my right hon. Friend agree that that speech might have been a good occasion to make it clear that productivity and social justice might have been aided by allowing more free entry to the engineering industry by Government-trained persons and easier acceptance of them by the industry?
Mr Derek Page: asked the Prime Minister what steps he proposes to take to ensure the co-ordination of activities of the Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government concerned with the desk study of the Wash barrage.
Mr Derek Page: How can my right hon. Friend justify the spending of public money on an investigation concerned primarily with water when everyone knows that other factors such as port facilities and land reclamation are of the greatest importance? Does not he agree that the time has come to transfer the study to the Department of Economic Affairs?
Mr Derek Page: I was very pleased to hear the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Grantham (Mr. Godber) welcome the scheme, as I do. Indeed, I think that many hon. Members of this side will regret that the Commission will not have more powers than these. Certainly, the scheme has to be paid for, but the point I want to protest about—it has already been mentioned, but it needs covering a little more...
Mr Derek Page: asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs did Britain. If we take the average over the last five years for manufacturing industry we find that the proportion of G.N.P. devoted to investment was 3·7 per cent. and in two of those years under hon. Members opposite it was below the average.
Mr Derek Page: Does not my hon. Friend recognise that the information given in the Report proves up to the hilt that the problems, particularly of the northern part of East Anglia, are problems of low earnings which give East Anglia every bit as much of a claim to Government help as areas of high unemployment and that it is time we rethought the whole system of priorities in our regional policy?
Mr Derek Page: The question of the future use of our power resources is involved with the Scheme. Reference has been made to the subsidisation of the Anglesey project. The North Sea gas now coming into production will, within a few years, be available in a quantity far more than adequate for domestic supplies and will then be looking for industrial outlets. The biggest aluminium plant in the world, on the...
Mr Derek Page: If my hon. Friend the Minister hopes to see hon. Members, particularly East Anglian Members, in favour of this Scheme, I trust that we shall have assurances that our hopes for North Sea gas will not be frustrated.
Mr Derek Page: On the point I raised with the Minister—
Mr Derek Page: In general, I welcome the conversion of my right hon. and hon. Friends to the concept of some import control, although many on this side would prefer physical controls to this measure, for sound reasons. The 50 per cent. deposit for six months means that firms making these imports will have to pay about 8 per cent. for the money, and that, in turn, will mean an overall increase of about 2...
Mr Derek Page: Of course it could and should, be made here. The point is that, to the best of my knowledge, it is not. The plants cannot be brought into operation overnight by waving a wand. This raw material is vital for making weed killers, which are exported on an enormous scale. These two examples are sufficient to illustrate the point without boring the House further. The list simply must be...