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The current literature on fractional factorial plans in block designs centres around orthogonal blocking which may not, however, always be attainable because of practical restrictions on the block size. For general factorials, including asymmetric ones, sufficient conditions are indicated in this paper for a main effect plan to be universally optimal under possibly non-orthogonal blocking. A construction procedure is given using generalised Youden designs in conjunction with orthogonal arrays. We also illustrate how the procedure can be applied to obtain optimal main effect plans in the practically important situation where each factor has two or three levels and the block size is small.