§ Mr. Rankin
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many applications have been received since 1st January, 1959, from firms requiring special assistance for establishing or expanding factories in areas of specially high unemployment; how many of these have been granted and how many refused; and what is the average time which elapses between the receipt of such an application and the sending of a definitive reply.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
Six applications have been received since 1st January, 1959, for Government financed factories or extensions in those parts of the Development Areas which have high and persistent unemployment. Five have been approved and one is still under consideration. In these cases the average time between receipt of the application and approval has been within two weeks, but the interval can vary widely with the nature and circumstances of each case.
Furthermore, since 1st January, 1959, 51 firm and eligible applications have been made for assistance under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958. Of these, three have been approved and three refused; the other 45 are still being examined. The time taken to investigate and reach a decision on each application depends on the nature of the proposals. It may be as short as a month or extend over three or more months.
No application's for assistance from the Development Fund for places of rural unemployment have been received in this period.