HC Deb 11 June 1964 vol 696 cc619-20
22. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development how many applications have been received by his Department for expansion or development in Scotland since the 1963 Budget measures became effective in July, 1963; and how many of these applications have been approved.

Mr. D. Price

Up to 31st May, 1964, 1,409 applications from Scotland have been received for the standard building and plant and machinery grants introduced in the Local Employment Act, 1963. Preliminary approval has been given to 775, and on 276 of these firm offers have been made amounting to £2.8 million. One hundred and seventy-four applications have been rejected or withdrawn.

Mr. Brewis

Are not these figures very satisfactory? Do not they show that Scotland is a most suitable site for industrial development? Have any new directives been given to B.O.T.A.C. to streamline its procedure so that it can deal with these applications much more quickly than before? In particular, is B.O.T.A.C. meeting more often?

Mr. Price

With regard to B.O.T.A.C. applications, I think that the House knows that the Board of Trade can deal with the plant grants without reference to B.O.T.A.C. It is only in cases of doubt, if it is a rather large project, that the Board of Trade needs to refer to B.O.T.A.C. The House will have seen from the figures we have been giving in answer to Questions that B.O.T.A.C. is working very much faster on the building grants than it is on the grants under Section 4, which, as the House knows, deals with loans. These necessitate B.O.T.A.C. going into rather greater detail about a company than it does on the building grants.

Mr. Willis

How many new jobs will be provided as the result of these applications and how do they compare with the 40,000 new jobs we need?

Mr. Price

I think that the best way I can answer that question is to take a rather longer span, namely, from the inception of the 1960 Act. From 1st April, 1960, to 30th April of this year the projects covered by the two Acts are estimated to provide about 52,000 new jobs.