HC Deb 06 March 1956 vol 549 cc1911-3
31. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what salary is to be paid to the chairman of the Cumbernauld New Town Development Corporation.

38. Mrs. Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what particular knowledge of town planning and local government is possessed by the newly-appointed chairman of Cumbernauld Development Corporation; what is his salary and the salary, or emoluments, of the appointed members.

Mr. J. Stuart

The chairmen of new town corporations are selected with particular regard to their administrative experience, initiative and organising ability, qualities which I am satisfied the chairman of the Cumbernauld Corporation possesses to an outstanding degree. The salaries attaching to the posts of chairman, vice-chairman and members are £1,500, £750 and £400 per annum respectively.

Mr. Rankin

How can the Secretary of State justify the payment of such a salary to a person whose knowledge of building houses is confined solely to the building of barracks? Is he aware that on the confession of General MacMillan himself he is entirely ignorant of the functions and activities of local government? Even at this late hour, will not the right hon. Gentleman reconsider this disastrous appointment?

Mr. Stuart

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman is being very fair to General MacMillan. I saw General MacMillan in Gibraltar where he was Governor and he had many functions to carry out which were functions of a local authority. He has considerable knowledge of them.

Mrs. Mann

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware of the opinion that since there is a preponderance of local authority knowledge on this committee, he might at least have chosen someone who has some knowledge of town planning? Is he aware that there is no town planner on the whole corporation and that since, unfortunately, we have lost the services of one of our very best officials, the late Mr. Smith, it is all the more necessary that we should have someone on the corporation with some knowledge of planning?

Mr. Stuart

I do not know whether the hon. Lady has studied the list of members, but Sir Robert Russell was assistant secretary in the Town and Country Planning Division of the Department of Health from 1947 to 1955.

42. Mr. Carmichael

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he can make a statement on his policy regarding the proposed new town at Cumbernauld; and what approaches he has undertaken to get industry into Cumbernauld.

Mr. J. Stuart

The general policy underlying the establishment of Cumbernauld new town is explained in the Memorandum which I published with the draft designation Order. I am sending a copy to the hon. Member. The attraction of industry to the new town is resognised by the Government and the Development Corporation to be of outstanding importance, and the Chairman of the Corporation informs me that contact has already been made by his board with an important industrial concern interested in the potentialities of the area.

Mr. Carmichael

Is the Minister aware that if we build a new town employment must go with the population? Is he bearing that fact in mind?

Mr. Stuart

We shall certainly endeavour to do our best in that respect.

Mr. T. Fraser

Can the Secretary of State say whether the factories which are being made available at Cumbernauld for the industry which we all hope will go there will be made available at rents comparable with those of factories let by the Scottish Industrial Estates Limited, or whether they will have to be let at full economic rents?

Mr. Stuart

I must ask the hon. Gentleman to put down a Question on that matter.

Mr. Rankin

In view of the importance of attracting industry to Cumbernauld, can the Secretary of State tell us what industrial associations General MacMillan had before he took over the appointment?

Mr. Stuart

General MacMillan may not have had industrial associations: one man cannot have everything. He has many good qualifications.