HC Deb 09 May 1957 vol 569 c1165
24. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the President of the Board of Trade what will be the estimated saving in a full year by the closing of the local offices of his Department in, respectively, Dundee, Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The President of the Board of Trade (Sir David Eccles)

The estimated saving from the closing of the district offices of my Department in Dundee and Edinburgh is £2,000 a year in each case. I have no intention of closing the district office at Inverness. For the whole of the United Kingdom the closing of district offices will save rather more than £14,000 a year.

Mr. Thomson

In view of the very small amount of money saved and of the great importance of the work done by these offices in the Development Areas, is not this a very stupid economy? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the office in Dundee is being closed at a time when unemployment is rising quite steeply and at a time when serious unemployment is threatened in Dundee from the proposals for a European Free Trade Area?

Sir D. Eccles

While the sum is small, that is no reason why we should not save it. The hon. Member knows that the Jute Controller has his office in Dundee. He will continue to have his office in Dundee. I think that he is the most important person in relation to the question about Dundee which the hon. Member asked.

Mr. Jay

Why does the President choose the moment when unemployment is increasing in Dundee to make this very small economy?

Sir D. Eccles

Because I think that the arrangements in Dundee are adequate.