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Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether, in view of the level of unemployment in the county of Clwyd, which is now the highest in Wales and the third highest in the United Kingdom, and in view of the fact that within the county the highest levels of unemployment are in those areas which receive least Government support, he will now confer full development areas status on the whole county.

A large part of the intermediate area within Clwyd was designated as a development area for the first time last April. This designation must have time to take effect.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that reply will give no comfort to the Rhyl area of my constituency, where one in five is out of a job and where there are no jobs for women?

The Government are anxious about unemployment levels wherever they may be. In Rhyl the Welsh Development Agency has provided four advance factories and investment in Wettern Electric Ltd., which should create 50 jobs. I suggest to the hon. Gentleman that he should clarify his position within his party. The view of the Opposition Front Bench is that the Welsh Development Agency should have removed from it the right to invest in profitable companies. The hon. Gentleman should clarify his position. He cannot ask for the agency to do more while his Front Bench wants to deny it those very powers.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, Mr. Speaker, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment.