HC Deb 16 July 1964 vol 698 cc1413-5
26. Miss Harvie Anderson

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development what is the estimated employment at the two motor vehicle factories at Bathgate and Linwood, set up with Government assistance under the Local Employment Act.

The Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development and President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Edward Heath)

It is estimated that the employment to be provided by the two motor vehicle factories at Bathgate and Linwood will be 5,600 and 3,500 respectively.

Miss Harvie Anderson

Does my right hon. Friend agree that this development represents a welcome diversification of industry in Scotland? Does he further agree that the Rootes-Chrysler merger will be of great advantage in the sale of the Scottish Imp?

Mr. Heath

I quite agree.

Mr. A. Woodburn

While we appreciate this contribution to employment in Scotland, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has anything to report about contributory industries—those that supply parts to these motor companies? Scotland was promised that such companies would also gravitate to Scotland. Will the right hon. Gentleman persuade the Ford Company, which can apparently get very good steel in Scotland—according to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power—to come to Scotland to be near its source of supply?

Mr. Heath

I have always hoped that components manufacturers would begin to move to central Scotland in order to to be near the car firms. Unfortunately, I have little progress to report in that respect. I also hoped that Scottish firms themselves might begin to make suitable components. I hope that we shall begin to see progress in that direction.

Mr. Ross

We welcome this development, but can the right hon. Gentleman add information about the amount of public money by grant and loan invested in these projects? I believe that the last figure we had was over £16 million. Can he give a more accurate estimate?

Mr. Heath

If the hon. Gentleman is asking for specific amounts for specific firms, we do not normally give information of that kind.