HC Deb 16 December 1964 vol 704 cc360-1
7. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent it is his policy to continue the principle of growth areas put forward in the programme for Central Scotland published in November, 1963.

Mr. Ross

We intend to sustain the high level of public investment which the regeneration of Central Scotland requires, and to keep up the pace of development in the new towns and the other expanding areas. At the same time we are reviewing the, Central Scotland Programme so as to import into it a more specific industrial and economic content, and to secure a better balance between Central Scotland and the other regions.

Mr. Campbell

In other words, the right hon. Gentleman proposes to continue with the programme which was started by my right hon. Friend. Does this mean that he has changed his mind since the debate in this House just over a year ago—on 3rd December, 1963— when he was rashly critical of this programme and described it, among other things, as "Alexander's Ragtime Band"?

Mr. Ross

The hon. Gentleman is quite wrong in his allusion— [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]— I may have described the Government of the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) as "Alexander's Ragtime Band", but not this so-called scheme. In fact, this so-called programme was just a collection of things, already approved and going on, gathered together. We are going to implement those things which are useful and necessary. In addition, we are doing what I believe even the Scottish Council asked us to do and, for the first time, putting into the programme the industrial and economic element which was lacking. Until we get that, we shall not get growth in Scotland of the kind that we all want.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that when next the Government announce some further advance factories for Scotland the factories will not all be concentrated in the central growth area?

Mr. Ross

We shall give favourable consideration to putting them where they are required.

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