HC Deb 24 June 1958 vol 590 cc225-6
25. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he proposes to take to assist the City of Dundee following his recent visit there.

Mr. Maclay

I was very glad to have the opportunity of visiting Dundee and of discussing its industrial problems with local interests on 23rd May. I am considering the representations and suggestions made to me during my visit in close consultation with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and other Ministers, as appropriate.

Mr. Thomson

Is the Secretary of State aware that the unemployment figures in the jute industry, which have just reached me this morning, show that the situation there is steadily worsening and that the figure is now more than 15 per cent.? Is the Secretary of State also aware that there will be intense disappointment in Dundee if the right hon. Gentleman's on-the-spot investigation does not produce really decisive action from the Government to remove uncertainty from the jute industry and bring more jobs to Dundee workers much more quickly?

Mr. Maclay

No doubt the hon. Gentleman will realise that the programme of diversification is not too unsatisfactory. Six factories approved since last autumn is fairly good going, although I agree that a great deal more has to be done. We are watching every possible chance to help the situation.