M.P.s Attack Government Inaction
By Our Parliaments
y Correspondent From all sides comes attack on the Government for not producing a bold plan of national development.
Monday's debate on the Special Areas was a re-stating of ideas in the CATHOLIC HERALD Work-For-All plan.
" There is an immense amount that can be done for agriculture by increasing the consumption of those foodstuffs which this country is more fitted than any other country to produce," said Major Lloyd George, Independent Liberal.
He said also : " Our position as receivers of interest from abroad is getting gradually worse. There is no better raw material in the world and certainly no better market than at home."
Government Needs " Guts " Miss Irene Ward, Conservative, could not understand why there should not be a detailed examination of all our imports with a view to discovering the things which were being imported which could reasonably be made here. "I hope that before many weeks have passed the Government will put forward a comprehensive policy for which the whole country is waiting."
Exactly the same thought was voiced by J. R. Leslie, Labour member. "The Government has only scratched the surface of the unemployment problem. It's high time we had a bold practical policy."
" Guts " was what the Government needed, according to angry Mr. Aneurin Bevan, member for Ebbw Vale. He asked for plain sense in the allocation of industry.
" Lord Nuffield is to build a big airplane factory near Birmingham. That means the people of South Wales will have to forsake their homes to follow the caprice of a socalled benefactor. It is a disgrace to any country that one man should exercise such power over the lives of the people; that one capitalist can nullify by one action all that the Commissioners have done or could do in ten years."
130 New Industries in Special Areas
But industries were already being allocated sensibly, claimed Mr. H. J. Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, Under-Secretary for Scotland. " Under the Special Area Act new industries, are encouraged to go to the Special Areas and the results achieved in 18 months have been considerable."
Ernest Brown, Minister of Labour, backed this opinion with statistics. About 130 new industries have been established in Special Areas, and some £800,000 has been issued through the Special Areas Reconstruction Association.
He declared complete agreement with that part of the 1936 Report on the Special Areas which considered it " unnecessary and dangerous " for the Government to compel industries to go where the Government wanted them. " Under present conditions," he said, " such compulsion would cause dislocation and increased unemployment."
B. V. Kirby wound up Labour's part in the attack on Government inaction by saying that members from the distressed areas would be very disappointed with Mr. Brown's speech.
Leeds V.G. Supports W.F.A.