HC Deb 10 December 1959 vol 615 c724
16. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet received official notification of the closure at the end of the year of two Dundee jute works; and whether financial assistance will be available to any approved firm to provide alternative employment in the industrial premises to be closed.

Mr. Erroll

My right hon. Friend has been notified of the proposed closures. It is open to any firm wishing to set up or expand in Dundee to apply for financial assistance under the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Act, 1958.

Mr. Thomson

Is the Minister aware that one of the reasons for these closures was the uncertainty that the Government created in the jute industry? As these jute factories have been closed through Government action, will the Minister take vigorous action to provide alternative employment for those being thrown out of work?

Mr. Erroll

Although I hate to say it, I understand from Press reports that the main reason was something to do with the need to pay death duties. I understand that most of the 173 former employees will have no difficulty in finding themselves alternative work in the jute industry.