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South-East Study

Volume 721: debated on Thursday 25 November 1965

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15.

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether he will now make a statement on the South-East Study.

I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) on 26th October.

Will the Joint Under-Secretary not recognise that his party's pledge to scrap the South-East Plan was a piece of empty and foolish rhetoric? Will he not now get on with it and recognise that many of the assumptions in the South-East Study made by the last Administration may form the basis for a development plan of this region?

It is not quite clear what the hon. Member means when he says "get on with it." Does he mean we ought to scrap the plan because he takes the view, as we do, that in a number of cases the assumptions made in it were wrong? We are reviewing the previous Government's study and we have announced some conclusions. We will announce the others when we are ready.

Do the Government expect to have a Plan for the South-East before they go out of office?

We are developing plans for all parts of the country, and we have a long time ahead of us in which to do so. This will not be used as an excuse for delay.