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Distribution Of Industry (Wick)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 12 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give his reasons for refusing to schedule Wick as a Development Area under the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945, in view of the unemployment which prevails in spite of continuous emigration.

In paragraph 90 of the White Paper on Distribution of Industry (Cmd. 7540) the reasons for not scheduling small areas which form "pockets" of unemployment are given. Wick is an area which depends largely on such industries as agriculture, fisheries and tourism, for which much is being done apart from the Distribution of Industry Act.

Does the Secretary of State deny that Wick is in greater need than any other town in the Highlands, and why does he persist in refusing to use his abundant powers for the benefit of the people?

The Distribution of Industry Act lays down very definitely the conditions under which an area can be made a Development Area, and these do not apply in that sense to Wick.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how they can possibly apply to 36 small parishes in Easter Ross and yet cannot apply to Wick which is the largest town north of Inverness?