§ 28. Mr. Brewis
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many applications for assistance under the Local Employment Acts by firms wishing to set up business or expand in Scotland were pending at 15th October, 1964; and what is the average time taken to reach a decision.
§ Mr. Jay
Figures are not readily available for 15th October. At 31st October the Board of Trade had under consideration 1,207 applications for building and plant and machinery grants for projects in Scotland, of which 758 had already been given preliminary approval in principle, in addition to 108 applications for general purpose loans and grants. The time taken to reach a final decision varies 557 from three weeks to a year or more depending on the extent of the investigation required and the promptness with which applicants supply the necessary information. We are taking all steps within our power to reduce the delay.
§ Mr. Brewis
These figures are satisfactory, but has the right hon. Gentleman any proposals for quickening up the procedure, which often takes a very long time?
§ Mr. Speaker
I am sorry. I saw the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes) first and called him. I will come back to the right hon. Gentleman in a moment.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
Can my right hon. Friend say how many of these applications were in respect of setting up industries in north-east Scotland, what was the nature of the industries and how many of them were granted?
§ Mr. Shinwell
On a point of order. Can you, Mr. Speaker, say whether Privy Councillors have any special privileges in this House?