HC Deb 10 February 1959 vol 599 cc988-9
23. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in view of the relaxation, in various directions, of the restrictions in borrowing for capital purposes, what fresh direction he is issuing to local authorities or public boards who have schemes awaiting finance.

Mr. N. Macpherson

My right hon. Friend has already made it clear to local authorities and public boards that he will consider sympathetically the bringing forward of capital projects which could be completed by the end of 1959, especially in areas where unemployment is high, and he is glad to say that as a result of their response it is now expected that works to the amount of about £7½ million will be carried out.

Mr. Grimond

I am grateful for the attention which is being paid to the high unemployment in the Highlands, where urgent public works are needed. However, will the hon. Gentleman consider the case of works which cannot be completed by the end of this year, because many more works, piers, drainage, sewerage schemes and electrical supplies, for instance, are badly needed in the areas of high unemployment? Since the Government have removed many restrictions on borrowing—for instance, they have more or less abolished the C.I.C.—could not the hon. Gentleman extend the good work?

Mr. Macpherson

I will certainly convey what the hon. Gentleman has said to my right hon. Friend.