HC Deb 25 November 1942 vol 385 cc715-6
49. Mr. Boothby

asked the Minister of Production whether he will take all practicable steps to increase the number of factories and contracts allocated for war production in Scotland?

Mr. Garro Jones

Yes, Sir. Under the measures announced by my right hon. Friend in reply to the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) on 14th October, the Regional Boards are surveying the most congested districts with a view to transferring either work or complete firms to the less congested areas. In determining such transfers and also the allocation of new work, my right hon. Friend and the Supply Ministers are paying special attention to the claims of Scotland.

Mr. Woodburn

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the central industrial belt of Scotland there is still a feeling among both workers and employers that the productive capacity, buildings and energy are not yet fully taken up?

Mr. Garro Jones

That is an aspect of the matter which is being carefully considered, but I would tell my hon. Friend the question of buildings is perhaps the aspect of the matter which is causing the greatest difficulty.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a considerable opinion in Scotland which does not desire war factories alone, which would be scrapped at the end of the war, but wants the Ministry to keep an eye to the future with a view to the transference of the factories to peace-time activities?

Mr. Garro Jones

The Ministry are certainly aware of this feeling, but as to how far it should be taken into account at the present juncture is another matter.