HC Deb 08 March 1960 vol 619 cc214-5
5 and 6. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he is aware of the disparities between the encouragement given to the south of Scotland and the north-east of Scotland, respectively, directed to the expansion of existing industries and the foundation of new industries; and if he will state his present plans to redress these disparities in such a way as to stop the drift of workers from North-East Scotland;

(2) if he is aware of the unemployment caused in Aberdeen shipyards and engineering firms by the recent reduction in orders for shipbuilding, ship-repairing and engineering; and what steps he has taken this winter to find remedies for these financial and economic problems.

Mr. N. Macpherson

My right hon. Friend is aware of the problem of unemployment in Aberdeen. Both the Aberdeen—Stonehaven—Inverurie and the Buckie—Peterhead districts have been included in the first list of development districts under the Local Employment Bill, and all the forms of assistance which will be available under the Bill will apply to these districts exactly as they apply to development districts elsewhere.

Mr. Hughes

Why does not the Secretary of State produce a co-ordinated plan for the whole of Scotland instead of this invidious jungle which further depopulates the North and drives people to the South, to Luton and places like that, where they can get decent housing accommodation?

Mr. Macpherson

The purpose of the Bill to which I have referred is precisely to try to bring industry to those places which need it most.