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Advance Factory, Milford Haven

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 15 March 1962

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will authorise the building of an advance factory at Milford Haven.

No, Sir. The prospects in this area have improved and I would not be justified in building another advance factory here at present.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the long-term prospects for this town have not improved, that the unemployment rate is about five times the national average, and that my constituents are tired of promises and no action? In these circumstances, can the right hon. Gentleman say why there is an objection to building an advance factory such as that in Pembrokeshire which is beginning to show prospects of a return on national investment?

The reason is because we think that the prospects in the area have improved. Although the percentage of unemployment is high, the total numbers are not large. It would in any case be difficult to establish the right size of advance factory, and if an advance factory of the wrong size were built it might deter somebody from coming, though the full facilities of the Local Employment Act remain available as an inducement to any employer considering the area.

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that there are other areas in which the spare labour capacity would be welcomed? Is not the easier solution for some of these people who are short of employment in one area to move to places where they are needed?

They are free to move if they wish, but the purpose of the Act, and the way I administer it, is to bring work to people who are unemployed.