HC Deb 20 October 1966 vol 734 cc378-9
9. Mr. Dalye

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a statement on his official talks with the Scottish Trade Union Congress on Friday, 30th September, on the subject of the employment and industrial position in Scotland.

Mr. M. Stewart

My colleagues and I met with representatives of the Scottish Trades Union Congress to discuss the economic prospects in Scotland, particularly in the light of the Government's economic measures announced in July. The Scottish Trades Union Congress expressed their concern at redundancies in Scotland and sought reassurances that Ministers would keep watch on the unemployment situation to ensure that the claims of Scotland were not prejudiced. That assurance I gave them.

Mr. Dalyell

On the question of assurances, am I right in supposing that the S.T.U.C. received one assurance that the Government would intensify their policy on the question of issuing industrial development certificates? If that is right, can the Minister give evidence that this is being done?

Mr. Stewart

I explained that it was the intention to administer the policy of industrial development certificates in a way that would help both Scotland and other regions that might otherwise be prejudiced by the present situation. That is being done and will continue.

Mr. Edward M. Taylor

In view of these talks and the developments since, will the Minister advise his Cabinet colleagues to stop making speeches saying that Scotland is exempt from the freeze and that houses and schools are not affected by it when it is blatantly obvious to us in Scotland that this is not the case?

Mr. Stewart

It is the case that houses and schools are not affected. It is not claimed that Scotland—like the rest of the country—does not face difficulties. What is claimed is that there are measures carried out which help Scotland and other regions which might be specially injured.

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