HC Deb 02 February 1961 vol 633 cc1171-2
18. Mr. Willis

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new jobs were provided in the seven crofting counties in 1960.

Mr. Maudling

About 400.

Mr. Willis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that figure is very disappointing and unsatisfactory? Is he aware that legislation now before the House will increase the need for employment in this area still further? Will he consult the Secretary of State for Scotland to see whether the Government can take much more positive action to provide jobs in this difficult area?

Mr. Maudling

My figures do not include jobs created in agriculture and forestry. The hon. Member must recognise the facts of life and appreciate that to get industry into the crofting counties is extremely difficult.

Mr. Ross

Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the number of jobs in agriculture and forestry is diminishing and that the provision of only 400 new jobs is nothing compared with the number of people who have been forced to leave the crofting counties in the last few years?

Mr. Maudling

The hon. Gentleman must have some regard to the practical difficulties of setting up industry in these remote places.