HC Deb 05 February 1959 vol 599 cc564-5
31. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications were lodged in 1958 with the Development Areas Treasury Advisory Committee by firms operating in Greenock; how many have been approved; and what amount of public money has been involved.

Mr. Erroll

Three firm and eligible applications were lodged with the Committee in 1958. Of these, one involving £75,000 has been approved.

32. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Development Areas Treasury Advisory Committee received the application from the Inchgreen Investigating Company, Limited, for financial assistance in the construction of the proposed Clyde graving dock at Greenock; and if he will give a favourable decision at an early date.

Mr. Erroll

A formal application for financial assistance for the construction of this dry dock was received by the Committee on 29th December, 1958. The need for an early decision is fully appreciated, but I cannot forecast what that decision may be.

Dr. Mabon

Is the Economic Secretary aware that this much-needed project for the Clydeside has been hanging fire for 12 years and that it is perfectly clear that without State assistance it will never be realised? Is he further aware that since the Chancellor of the Exchequer made his statement almost a year ago unemployment on the Clydeside has risen appreciably, and that this is just the kind of thing to help the unemployment position there?

Mr. Erroll

We are fully aware of the urgency of the matter, but we only received the formal application less than 12 weeks ago, and this is a big and complicated scheme which must be carefully studied and considered before a decision is reached.