§ 8 and 9. Mr. Lawson
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty (1) what is the weekly rental being charged for the purpose of permitting the storage of whisky in his Department's buildings at Carfin, Lanarkshire;
(2) what consultations he had with the President of the Board of Trade before 1371 agreeing to sell as a whisky store his Department's buildings at Carfin, Lanarkshire.
§ 6 and 7. Mr. Timmons
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty (1) if he will state the name of the whisky firm at present occupying the Admiralty buildings at Carfin. Lanarkshire;
(2) if he will state the price at which the Admiralty buildings at Carfin, Lanarkshire, are to be sold for the purpose of whisky storage.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
There is no whisky firm occupying these buildings at Carfin. The buildings, which were specially constructed for storage purposes, are for sale with the whole of the Carfin depot. In reaching a decision my noble Friend will consult my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I am delighted to hear that no whisky people are occupying the premises? Is he aware that we were informed that whisky people were occupying the premises and that the President of the Board of Trade, apparently, thought that they were, because he said that he would not intervene? Can I impress upon the hon. Gentleman that these are splendid industrial buildings containing nearly 500,000 square ft. within a mile of the great new steel strip mill under construction? Will he do everything he can to see that they are properly advertised and that some suitable firm takes them over which can provide employment in that area?
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I said that no whisky firm was occupying the buildings. It is true, however, that a firm has shown interest in the buildings for storage purposes. I should emphasise that these buildings were constructed for storage purposes and that very extensive alterations would have to be made under the Factory Acts if they were to be used for other purposes. I agree that the wider the publicity given to the availability of this site, the better. We have already got people interested. If more people are interested we shall be glad to hear from them as soon as possible.
§ Mr. Steele
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his original Answer amazed us because the information we had was 1372 that a whisky firm had secured the premises? To that extent, therefore, we are satisfied. Will he take into account, when considering this matter, that if any companies in Scotland are able, and have the resources, to build space for themselves, it is the whisky firms, and that these splendid premises should be left for industrial capacity?
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
The hon. Gentleman raised this with the President of the Board of Trade. The wider the publicity given to the availability of these buildings the better we shall be pleased. It will benefit the taxpayer and the employment situation.