HC Deb 19 February 1963 vol 672 c214
7. Mr. Dempsey

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the closure of Salts (Saltaire) Airdrie and the loss of 150 jobs; and what steps he proposes to take to replace these jobs.

Mr. D. Price

My right hon. Friend was sorry to learn of the closure of this factory and the consequent loss of jobs. He will continue to use his powers under the Local Employment Act to encourage the introduction of new industry to the north Lanarkshire area and the expansion of industry already established there.

Mr. Dempsey

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that nearly 10 per cent. of the insured population in this district is unemployed and that this closure came as a bad blow to the neighbourhood? Does he not think it is about time the Minister programmed the number of jobs per month so that we may know before the end of the year how many jobs will come to the locality?

Mr. Price

It is difficult to programme precisely month by month because we in the Department do not control the manning-up of factories which are being built in the north Lanarkshire area. The hon. Member may care to know that 6,700 jobs are in prospect in the north Lanarkshire area. He knows as well as I do that we do not control the pace at which those jobs are manned-up.

Mr. Rhodes

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that unless the Board of Trade looks after this industry better than it has done during the last two or three years there will be more closures—and in Yorkshire, too?