HC Deb 10 February 1959 vol 599 cc990-1
28. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider ways of speeding up work on the Forth Road Bridge as a contribution to the solution of the unemployment problem.

Mr. N. Macpherson

The various stages in the construction of the bridge have been carefully phased to ensure that the work proceeds, not only as quickly as possible, but in an orderly and economic manner. It would not be practicable to alter the timetable at this stage.

Mr. Hamilton

As the hon. Gentleman is evidently not prepared to make any attempt to relieve the unemployment problem in Scotland, will he consider the suggestion that, since there are now 100,000 or more unemployed in Scotland—just about the same number as there are red deer—at least, we should have as much time in the Scottish Grand Committee for discussing the 100,000 unemployed as we will have for discussing the 100,000 red deer?

Mr. Macpherson

The question of business in the Scottish Grand Committee is not a matter for me. I have already told the House, in reply to a previous Question, about work to the value of £7½ million which we are putting in hand, but the question of phasing the work on the Forth Bridge is not very elastic. The work of preparing the foundations will take two years, and, until it is completed, work cannot start on the erection of the superstructure, work on which, however, is going on at the present time in the workshops of the consortium.

Mr. Ross

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Answers to all Scottish Questions, I beg to give notice that I shall raise them on the Motion for the Adjournment.