§ 33. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Minister of Labour what is the number of employees, at the latest available date, engaged in motor vehicle and cycle manufacturing; and what proportion of those employees is located in Scotland.
§ Mr. Gourlay
Since this is one of the expanding industries in Britain, does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the percentage coming to Scotland is a shocking one? This represents far too small a proportion of the people employed in the industry. When does the Minister propose to remove the blockage which is preventing a greater flow of new jobs in this industry from the now infamous pipeline?
§ Mr. T. Fraser
Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the many replies that he has given to these Questions indicate that the policy which he and his right hon. Friends have followed for the last 11 years has been largely a failure in Scotland—a fact emphasised by the answer he gave two days ago, 405 which showed that at a time when male employment had increased by 855,000 in England and Wales it had decreased by 16,000 in Scotland? Is he aware that the former President of the Board of Trade—now Lord Eccles—suggested only last week that special steps would have to be taken to deal with this problem? Is it the fact that only Tory ex-Ministers know what should be done to solve the problem? In the circumstances, would it not be better if they wore all ex-Ministers?
§ Mr. Hare
I will try to answer the serious point raised by the hon. Member As he knows, many new jobs have accrued to Scotland as a result of policies for which Her Majesty's Government were responsible. It is also true that there has been a fairly rapid decline in some of the old industries. We should naturally like to see more expanding industries coming to Scotland. It is clear that the steps taken by my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the President of the Board of Trade are going to have their effect in generally reflating the economy and enabling expansion to take place. I hope that hon. Members will not paint too grim a picture of depression. This will not help either their constituents or the new industries which might be going to these areas.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the policy that he is following is proving inadequate because what is happening is, at the very best, that Scotland and, indeed, the whole of the North are getting more employment only by the expansion of branches of other industries into the area? Does he not realise that we shall not solve this problem of the North until we get more of the newer growth industries established there—with their headquarters—so that growth will inevitably take place in the North? Does he not also realise that this change of policy is essential if we are to deal with the problem?