HC Deb 13 November 1968 vol 773 cc401-2
38. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State of Defence what cuts in expenditure have taken place in defence establishments in the County of Midlothian; and to what extent the cuts will affect industrial undertakings doing defence work in the county.

Mr. Reynolds

During the past 12 months the net change in Ministry of Defence establishments in the County of Midlothian, including the City of Edinburgh, has been small. The overall effect has certainly not been significant enough to make a measurable impact on local industrial undertakings.

Mr. Eadie

Is my right hon. Friend aware that with the pit closures at present upon us and others which are looming on the horizon, employment prospects are vital to the constituency of Midlothian? Will he agree that if we are to have defence expenditure there are establishments in Midlothian which are entitled to fair consideration in view of employment problems?

Mr. Reynolds

With the contraction of the defence forces, of course, one continuously comes up against the effect that closeures might or might not have on specific areas. I can assure my hon. Friend that the type of problem he has in mind is fully considered in conjunction with other Government Departments.