HC Deb 01 December 1966 vol 737 cc613-4
Q1. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister when he next intends to make an official visit to Central Scotland.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I have no present plans for such a visit, Sir.

Mr. Dalyell

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when he next comes to visit us many Scots in industry and the trade unions will be telling him that the biggest single boost the Government could give to confidence in the Scottish economy would be the announcement of a plan for containerisation in shipping, linked with modernised facilities serving Leith and Grangemouth?

The Prime Minister

I know that there is very great interest in this. My hon. Friend will probably know that, when I met the Scottish T.U.C. the other day, we went very fully into this matter. Major developments for the ports are now in hand at Leith and Grangemouth, and the National Ports Council is considering the question of handling container traffic at Greenock. I am sure that this is a very helpful suggestion.

Mr. Noble

Will the Prime Minister consider visiting not only Central Scotland but the rest of the country fairly soon? Does not he remember that, on his last visit in April, he promised high productivity, high wages and full employment, but since then the Scottish T.U.C., after its meeting with him, has reported considerable lack of enthusiasm as to the precision of the assurances he could give, and. on the other side—[HON. MEMBERS: "Too long."]—the C.B.I. for Scotland has reported the lowest trends of investment since 1959? Further——

Mr. Speaker

Order. Supplementary questions must be reasonably brief.

The Prime Minister

To take that as far as it went, the Scottish T.U.C. expressed its concern, as one might expect—a concern which is shared by all of us in the House—and I think that its worst fear, which was expressed very strongly to me, was that we would get into the same situation in Scotland as we did under the previous Government. While the Scottish T.U.C. still has some anxieties on the point, I think that it has confidence in the way this is going to be handled.

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