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South Yorkshire

Volume 990: debated on Monday 4 August 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry, in the light of the large pockets of unemployed persons, and the danger of further redundancies in the South Yorkshire area, if he will take steps to bring new industries into the area.

Most of South Yorkshire continues to be an assisted area. But industrial development there—as elsewhere—depends primarily on setting the national economy on the right course, as our policies are intended to do, together with the enterprise, skill and realism of management and workers.

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that my constituents in the Dearne Valley, both at Wombwell and Mexborough employment exchange areas, have lost all hope of any promise given by this Government being realised? Is he aware that declaring the Mexborough employment district a development area has created more unemployment, more short time and more threatened redundancies for the future? When are the Government going to rebuild industry—to which the Prime Minister has referred—to provide a better standard of living for our people? When will that happen?

That is, indeed, the programme of this Government. Nobody would expect the Government's programme to be achieved in the course of its first year or 18 months in office. The hon. Gentleman is talking sheer humbug if he pretends otherwise.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for the Secretary of State to shout "Humbug" across the Floor of the House?

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. The moment that the hon. Gentleman had asked his apparently angry question, he winked at one of his hon. Friends.

Order. It is possible that the hon. Gentleman's eyelid moved. We are anxious to make progress with questions. To accuse anyone of humbug is not our normal custom.

I withdraw the word "Humbug". I do not withdraw the observation that the hon. Gentleman winked, smiled and laughed at one of his hon. Friends.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment after the Summer Recess.