the idea that industrial distribution should be controlled nationally is a very recent one. In its present form it began after the First World War with the drift of population from the depressed areas in South Wales and the North to Greater London. The resulting human and economic problem in the depressed areas came to public attention, and in 1934 the Special Areas Act was passed “to facilitate the economic development and social improvement” of the areas in South Wales, North-East Coast, West Cumberland and Central Scotland which had the most severe unemployment. This Act provided no financial assistance to the Special Areas and relied entirely on the persuasive powers of the Special Areas Commissioners who were appointed under it. One of the greatest difficulties was found to be the lack of suitable factory premises, and this was overcome by the formation of private trading estate companies on the lines of those already in existence at Trafford Park, Slough, and the Garden Cities. Estates were begun in the North-East and in South Wales in 1936, in Cumberland in 1937 and in Scotland in 1937 and 1938.