HC Deb 24 April 1958 vol 586 cc1157-8
45. Sir J. Hutchison

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the Resolution sent to him by the Scottish Council on the question of siting the new steel strip mill in Scotland; and whether he will make arrangements for the steel strip mill so to be sited.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

I was not sent the resolution to which my hon. Friend refers, but I have seen it and taken note of it. The Government are not yet in a position to make a statement on the siting of the proposed steel strip mill.

Sir J. Hutchison

Will my right hon. Friend take particular note of the calculation in the report that the margins on raw material costs are calculated on a very conservative basis by a reliable body of commerical opinion and will have an effect of 2 per cent. or less on the final finished article? On this basis this strip mill would be calculated to make a substantial profit.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, we will consider that and all other relevant matters in reaching a conclusion.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since the time he received a deputation from Scots Members of all parties and gave a pledge that he would consider all relevant considerations, the Scottish Council has made an expert technological investigation into the costs and factors lying behind this project, and since then there has been a great increase in unemployment in Scotland? Is he aware that Scotland is now looking on this mill as the one possibility of preventing the kind of recession which took place between the wars, about which Scotland is extremely alarmed?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, all those matters will, of course, be considered.

Mr. G. Thomas

Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that there is an equal strength of feeling on this question in the Principality and that there are other social and economic conditions why this strip mill should be sited in Wales? Will he not be unduly biased by this demonstration from the North?

The Prime Minister

I would not have expected that we should pass from this Question without that question being asked.