HC Deb 07 July 1953 vol 517 cc1031-3
15. Mr. Hamilton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will include in his visit to Scotland in August the developing mining area of Fife to discuss with local representatives the need for industrial diversification within the county.

18. Major Anstruther-Gray

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his visit to Scotland in August will include meetings with trade and industry on both sides of the Firth of Forth.

Mr. H. Strauss

My right hon. Friend will spend a day in Angus and Fife and a day in Edinburgh at the end of his visit to Scotland, and will meet the Dundee Chamber of Commerce and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures. He will also, earlier in his visit, meet members of the Executive Committee of the Scottish Council and of the Scottish Board for Industry for discussions on the general question of Scottish industrial development.

Mr. Hamilton

While thanking the hon. and learned Gentleman for that reply, may I ask him if he is aware that the Government have rejected the proposition put forward in the Cairncross Report on the grounds that their present policy of developing this area is attractive enough to deal with the developing mining area, and will he give an assurance that the President of the Board of Trade is not simply going to this area to please the local inhabitants without doing anything positive after he has met the local inhabitants?

Mr. Strauss

I do not want to travel outside the general subject of these two Questions, but all questions of interest to my right hon. Friend's Department will no doubt be raised during his visit.

Major Anstruther-Gray

Will the President of the Board of Trade specifically discuss the need for a road bridge over the Forth during his visit, and will he take the opportunity of travelling on the Queensberry Ferry so that he can experience the inconvenience and delay caused by those who have to use it?

Miss Herbison

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman convey to his Minister the need to include the National Coal Board, Scottish Division, in the visit he proposes to make, particularly in view of the great need to do something for Lanarkshire in the future?

Mr. Strauss

I feel sure that it is the universal desire of all Members that this visit should be as useful as possible. I think that neither the questions to be discussed nor the exact places to be visited can conveniently be dealt with by Question and answer, but all the views expressed will be noted by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Brooman-White

Is it not a fact that in a recent reply about the Cairncross Report it was intimated that the Government did not envisage any immediate change in the distribution of industry policy, and can we take it that during the present discussions he will consider the longer-term implications?

Mr. Strauss

The Cairncross Report really does not arise on either of these two Questions, and in fairness to other hon. Members who have Questions on the Order Paper, I think I should confine myself to the subject.

Mr. Hoy

Will the President of the Board of Trade, when he is in Edinburgh, give consideration to the question of trade at Leith Docks, which at present is being considered by his Department?

Mr. Strauss

I am sure that all relevant questions will be brought to the notice of my right hon. Friend and that he will have noted what has been said by the hon. Member.