HC Deb 27 November 1962 vol 668 cc199-200
26. Mr. Willis

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many industrial development certificates were issued for developments in Scotland during the first nine months of 1962; and how much additional employment will be provided.

Mr. D. Price

During the first nine months of 1962, 81 industrial development certificates were issued in Scotland, with an estimated employment of 7,087.

Mr. Willis

But is the Minister aware that Scotland requires 40,000 jobs a year, and is not this really a pitiful contribution to that need? When are the Government going to apply some new ideas to this problem with a greater urgency? If they cannot, will they get out and let in a Government who will?

Mr. Price

I would point out to the hon. Gentleman that, whereas 8.6 per cent. of all the people employed in manufacturing industries in Great Britain are in Scotland, the additional jobs coming from these new I.D.C.s in Scotland represent 13.5 per cent. of the estimated additional employment, so, even though the hon. Gentleman may not like it, Scotland has done rather better than the remainder of the country.

Mr. Bence

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the source from which he hopes to get all the increased jobs in the new industries in Scotland is gradually getting weaker? Is he aware that technological unemployment is now rising in the South-East and Midland areas throughout the whole field of the production of consumer durable goods? Unemployment is growing, and in fact there are 10,000 fewer people in those industries in the Midlands than there were two years ago. Therefore, is it not becoming increasingly difficult to direct these industries to Scotland, and will the hon. Gentleman really get down to the jab of creating new industries in Scotland if private enterprise cannot do it?

Mr. Price

The hon. Gentleman has not got it quite right. We do not direct industry.

Mr. Bence

The Government should.

Mr. Price

This is the big difference. We refuse firms permission to expand in congested areas, and then, with the encouragement of the Local Employment Act, we hope to persuade them to go to development districts, but this is still a free country.

Mr. Ross

Do I understand the Minister to say that Scotland has done very well? With 93,000 unemployed we have 7,000 jobs in this mythical pipeline when we need 40,000 every year.

Mr. Price

The hon. Gentleman should listen a little more carefully to what I say. I was not saying that Scotland had done well. We were accused that Scotland was not getting its share. I painted out that on the figures Scotland had got more, in proportion to its working population, than the remainder of the country.