It was a legitimate stroke of Parliamentary tactics on the part of the Opposition to fasten on the Government's intention of renewing the Special Areas Act by including it in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. This procedure does more than prevent any alterations or enlargements of the Act, though this is bad enough. It gives a very fair indication of the mind of the Government on the matter and will impress the minds of the people of the Areas accordingly. It is precisely this taking of the distress for granted and treating it by routine that is the worst crime against the victims. No government. in a country with the natural and industrial resources of Britain has a right to remain in office while such abject poverty and wretchedness continues to rot whole communities in our midst.
The Government claims that some of the distressed areas are shrinking. It is true that the older men die and the more fortunate escape from them. If this Government remains in office long enough it will have the satisfaction of being able to boast that there are no distressed areas at all, only cemeteries.