HC Deb 29 July 1941 vol 373 cc1249-50
63. Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the increasing resentment which is felt among Scottish public works contractors at the growing tendency of English firms to obtain contracts for work in Scotland; whether he is further aware that resident engineers of English main contractors are enabled to appoint direct sub-contractors from England for work which can be more readily carried out by Scottish contractors in Scotland; and whether he will consult with the Government Departments concerned with a view to safeguarding the interests of Scottish contractors in future?

Mr. Johnston

While I have received some general representations in the sense of the hon. Member's Question, I have no specific evidence of any case in which the public interest has been prejudiced, or contracts given out in any manner disadvantageous to Scottish contractors or workmen. If any evidence of that nature is available, I shall be glad to consider it with a view to drawing the attention of the appropriate authority to the matter.

Mr. McKinlay

Is my right hon. Friend aware that plants belonging to Scottish contractors have been requisitioned and handed over to English contractors, who have no plant of their own?

Mr. Johnston

That is another question. If hon. Members had any evidence of that kind of thing, I should be glad to have it.

Mr. Neil Maclean

Will my right hon. Friend get into touch with the Ministry of Supply and the Board of Trade and see the particulars of these contracts?

Mr. Johnston

I would prefer that a specific case should be given me.

Mr. Sloan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that English contractors do not come up to standard and that local contractors have to carry out the work?