HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 cc435-6
22. Mr. Lilley

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he will now make a statement about further North Atlantic Treaty Organisation projects in Argyll.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

After receiving competitive tenders the Admiralty has now awarded the main contract for the construction of a N.A.T.O. oil fuel depot at Loch Striven to Messrs. Melville Dundas and Whitson Ltd. of Glasgow. The work is expected to take two years to complete, and the cost to be about £2 million.

Mr. Lilley

While thanking my hon. Friend for that statement, which will give great pleasure, I am sure, to my hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble), may I ask whether he is aware that this statement will be accepted by the building and civil engineering industries in Scotland as a most useful contribution, which they sorely need, to using plant and labour? Will he say whether this is additional work to that which is at present going on?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I gladly confirm that this is in addition to the Glen Douglas scheme, which will cost £¾ million; to the Macrihanish scheme which will cost over £1 million; to the boom defences at Fairlie, which in total will be over £3 million; and to the Rosneath scheme, which is to cost £300,000.

Mr. Ross

Is the Minister sure that those figures are right? The Minister of Labour has just explained to me that when he told the House, in reply to my supplementary question on Question No. 10, that there were 11,088 jobs in the pipeline, he meant 1,188 jobs.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I was expecting a warm welcome of cheers from the other side of the House. Up to that time it seemed to me that they were most anxious to have more jobs in Scotland. I have now announced how this might come about.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will the Minister keep in mind that these jobs do not add to the economic plan for reconstructing the industries of Scotland, that they do not assist the recovery of essential industry in Scotland and that they are a waste of money on purely military and naval projects and will eventually lead to pools of unemployment?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

We believe in being loyal to our N.A.T.O. commitments. Some of these projects may have commercial as well as military advantages.

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