HC Deb 14 March 1963 vol 673 cc1519-21
31. Mr. Lawson

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent ancillary industries have been attracted to Scotland following the establishment of the motor car industry there.

53. Mr. Woodburn

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made in getting local firms to produce in the Scottish industrial belt components for the two motor vehicle assembly plants, or in influencing the existing firms to move to that area; and whether he will appoint an official with full-time specific responsibility for this task.

Mr. Erroll

There are now 10 companies known to the Board of Trade which have established or hope to establish factories in Scotland from which they will supply products for the motor industry. It will inevitably take time for Scotland to build up industry ancillary to the motor industry in competition with the established suppliers. I do not consider that any useful purpose would be served by appointing an official with specific responsibility for this question.

Mr. Lawson

Is it not known to the President of the Board of Trade that there are constant complaints, coming even from the motor car industry in Scotland itself, that it cannot find suppliers to meet its ancillary needs? Does not this rather suggest that if Scotland is to rely on private enterprise it will continue to have a very raw deal? Will the right hon. Gentleman say what can be done through the agency of the National Research Development Association to see that this development is set properly on foot?

Mr. Erroll

Things are going better. Of the 10 firms concerned, 8 are already in production or have factories under construction to provide work for over 2,000 workers in due course. We have always said that development of ancillary industry would take time, but I think it is going reasonably well.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that towards the end of the war an aluminium plate firm was established in Falkirk which produced the raw material necessary for aluminium? There are a number of basic firms established by Government action at various times, Would it not be advisable to have some body whose definite job it was either to invite firms or to see that they set up there to produce these commodities?

Mr. Erroll

There are two ways of going about this. One is the very tough policy which I pursue in the Midlands in regard to the expansion of Midland components manufacturers. The other is that I hope that firms already established in Scotland will get together with the motor vehicle makers in Scotland who are very anxious to trade with Scottish firms if they offer competitive price and quality.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is it not true that already one very large pressed steel works near Paisley is to turn out—if it has not yet already started—thousands of tons of steel panels for the motor industry of Scotland?

Mr. Erroll

That is a very valuable addition to the Scottish economy.