HC Deb 04 May 1960 vol 622 cc1061-2
15. Mr. Lawson

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what proportion of the United Kingdom total of Admiralty expenditure on shore installations is spent in Scotland.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Approximately 15 per cent. during the last financial year, including expenditure on repairs, maintenance and married quarters. This represents an expenditure in Scotland last year of over £2 million.

Mr. Lawson

Will the Civil Lord bear in mind that in this connection Scotland is not to be thought of in terms of 10 per cent. of the population? Scotland covers more than one-third of the total surface of the British Isles and the coastline which has to be protected must be nearly half of Great Britain's coastline. Further, since these are the northern waters, which are considered open waters, we would expect that there would be very much more work done than is being done. Will the hon. Gentleman see what more he can do?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I must say that I admire the hon. Gentleman's ingenuity when, in the face of the most devastating facts which I have given, he finds a new yardstick with which to argue that Scotland is not getting its share. However, his argument will not bear examination.

Mr. Wingfield Digby

Will my hon. Friend say what proportion of Navy recruits comes from Scotland and what proportion from the south of England?

Mr. Manuel

The best come from Scotland.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I am afraid that I cannot answer that supplementary Question without notice.

Mr. Kershaw

Is it not a fact that more than one-third of the surface of HANSARD is covered by Scottish Members?

Mr. T. Fraser

Does the Civil Lord realise that Scotland has 22 per cent. of the unemployment in the country as a whole? Does he also realise that Scotland's share of the shipbuilding industry as a whole is very much larger than its share of the work he has announced this afternoon?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

In a more serious vein, of course we understand. Various members of the Government in the last week have made it clear that we understand, sympathise with and are taking action about the problem of unemployment in Scotland. The outstanding figure for the Navy is that in 1950 in shipbuilding—this is tremendously important —Scotland got £2.8 million of work and this year is to get £15.1 million of work, which is a tremendous improvement.

Mr. G. Campbell

Is my hon. Friend aware that the recently announced expansion of the naval station at Lossi-mouth in northern waters and the building programme there in the next three or four years have been welcomed by the local community, particularly as similar stations in England have recently been closed down?

Mr. Orr-Ewing indicated assent.