HC Deb 27 April 1950 vol 474 cc1108-9
13. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the plans of the Government to take up the unemployment lag in Scotland caused by the falling-off in orders for shipbuilding.

Mr. H. Wilson

I understand that the majority of the yards in Scotland have sufficient orders to keep the labour force at present employed on shipbuilding going for the next two years. But, as I explained to the House on 4th April, during the Second Reading Debate on the Distribution of Industry Bill, we are seeking to strengthen our powers for assisting industrial development in the shipyard towns and elsewhere in those parts of the development areas which may be threatened with falling off in employment, particularly on the ship repairing side, in the future.

Sir T. Moore

Must we not look ahead? Would not an obvious solution be to use the industrial facilities at Prestwick Airport to create a permanent aircraft industry in Scotland, where the lag may be taken up, should it occur?

Mr. Wilson

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will study what I said on the Second Reading of the Distribution of Industry Bill I think he will be satisfied that we are looking ahead in this matter.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Is the President aware that there is considerable concern on this subject in Aberdeen, and could he say what plans he has in mind for helping to develop other industries in that city?

Mr. Wilson

I do not know whether the noble Lady is referring to ship repairing or to other industries, but I would be glad if she would put a Question down.

Mr. Jennings

Does the President appreciate the very serious problems confronting the North-East Coast ship repairing industry?

Mr. Speaker

I did not know that the North-East Coast was in Scotland.