HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc202-3
6. Mr. Lane

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he now expects to announce the Government's decision about the proposed construction of aluminium smelters.

60. Mr. Wiley

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a further statement on the location of an aluminium smelter works in the Northern Region.

Mr. Crosland

The Government have not yet concluded the confidential discussions with the companies concerned, which cover a number of important issues, including the location of the smelters. I cannot yet say when an announcement will be made.

Mr. Lane

When the Minister does make his announcement, will he spell out in detail any Government financial help involved, direct or indirect? Meanwhile, does he stand by the Prime Minister's statement in mid-November, that there would be neither an Exchequer subsidy nor an increase in the cost of electricity to other users?

Mr. Crosland

The answer to both parts of the question is "Yes".

Mr. Willey

In his continuing consultations and discussions about this, would my right hon. Friend pay particular attention to the importance of this development to the North-East?

Mr. Crosland

Yes, certainly. It is well known that one of the companies concerned, Alcan, has agreed to consider the possibility of a site in the North-East. I will certainly bear my right hon. Friend's point in mind.

Mrs. Ewing

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into account the great hopes of employment in the Invergordon area created by this project? Will he also bear in mind the fact that it is a widely held belief among many responsible citizens, including county councillors, that if the project does not go there there will be a mass exodus of population?

Mr. Crosland

I take note of what the hon. Lady says.