HC Deb 25 June 1953 vol 516 cc2074-5
9. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

asked the President of the Board of Trade what he has done during the last six months to encourage new industry to establish itself in the Highland Development Area.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

My Department continues to take every available opportunity to interest suitable firms in the Highland Development Area. Although there have been no applications for Industrial Development Certificates in the last six months, I am following up two new inquiries which have been made in the period, as well as a number of earlier inquiries.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

While I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, will he give an assurance that he and his officials will take every opportunity of drawing to the attention of industrialists the advantages which they can gain by establishing firms in the Development Area, and also to the several distinct advantages which they can gain as a result of the powers conferred upon the Secretary of State for Scotland by the Town and Country Planning Act relating to the establishment of suitable factories throughout the Highlands?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will certainly do what I can along those lines. I intend to visit the Highland Development Area in August to study the position and to see some of the industries with which I am concerned.

Sir D. Robertson

In view of the importance of this matter to the undeveloped half of Scotland, will it be possible for my right hon. Friend to change the attitude of his Department so that, instead of waiting for people to come to them, they will go out and get hold of people?

Mr. Thorneycroft

While the Board of Trade can do a certain amount, a great deal must depend upon the initiative of the people who are in those parts of Scotland.

Mr. Hamilton

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake that during his visit in August he will go to the developing mining areas in Fife and see what can be done about the provision of light industry there?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I should not like to plan my tour on the basis of question and answer at this moment.