HC Deb 25 May 1954 vol 528 cc199-200
32. Mr. Timmons

asked the President of the Board of Trade the prospects of his finding some firms to take over the empty factories in Lanarkshire.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)

There are 102 tenants on the seven industrial estates and the 13 individual sites administered by Scottish Industrial Estates in Lanarkshire. Three factories on two of the estates have recently been without a tenant. New tenants have already been found for two of these, including the largest, and negotiations are proceeding which I hope will result in the remaining factory being occupied.

Mr. Timmons

Is the Minister aware that, only three weeks ago, the six district councils of Lanarkshire convened a meeting of employers and trade unionists because there was so much apprehension about unemployment in that area, in view of particular factories having been standing empty for years? Is the right hon. Gentleman also aware that there is another factory belonging to the Ministry of Supply which has now been vacated; that we have been promised for years past that tenants were coming in, but still nothing has happened?

Mr. Thorneycroft

As the hon. Gentleman will see from my reply, in the case of only one factory out of 102 is a tenant being looked for at the present time, so far as Board of Trade factories are concerned.

Mr. Patrick Maitland

In looking at the problem, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the needs of those towns and villages in parts of Lanarkshire where industry is disappearing and coalmines are being closed down; and, in particular, will he consider encouraging factories at Newmains, Carluke and Forth?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That raises a slightly different Question to the one on the Order Paper.