HC Deb 03 February 1959 vol 599 cc197-8
37. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reason was given to him, directly or indirectly, by British Nylon Spinners, Limited, when the firm refused to consider any site in Scotland offered by Her Majesty's Government for its new factory.

Mr. Maclay

The information I have been given is that the company reached the conclusion that any location in Scotland would be too far away from its raw material supplies and markets and would face it with problems of administrative and technical control.

Dr. Mahon

Is the Minister aware that this is a classic case where we were unable to get various industries to diversify Scottish industry, because of arguments of this kind? Will he take further steps and make representations to the Board of Trade to persuade it to lower factory rents or in some other way provide for offsetting the economic disadvantage of high transport costs from Scotland?

Mr. Maclay

I must make it clear that from the outset of negotiations with the company the Board of Trade put before it sites in Scotland as well as in other places. The second supplementary point of the hon. Gentleman does not arise directly, although I admit it arises indirectly, out of the Question.

Mr. T. Fraser

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this company would appear to have chosen a site which is in absolute contradiction to Government policy about the location of industry? Why did this firm go to Gloucestershire? Is there unemployment or labour there and is it the most appropriate place for an establishment of this size?

Mr. Maclay

That is a supplementary question which would more appropriately be put to the President of the Board of Trade.