HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 cc1422-3
25. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the total number of male and female workers, respectively, currently employed in factories in Scotland built under advance factory programmes announced since 15th October, 1964.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

Of the 54 Board of Trade advance factories authorised in Scotland since 15th October, 1964, 41 have been completed. Of these, 31 have been allocated and 24 of them are in production. These 24 factories so far provide employment for 800 men and 1,030 women.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

How much, in toto, has it so far cost to provide these 800 male jobs in Scotland?

Mrs Dunwoody

The hon. Gentleman seems not to understand that this advance factory programme is producing more jobs in Scotland than have been produced for many years. His constant campaign against them will not be welcomed by Scots, even if it is welcomed by some of his hon. Friends.

Mr. William Hamilton

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Opposition for many years were entirely opposed to the principle of providing advance factories at all and that this is part of the problem from which we are suffering in Scotland today? Will she assure us that she will use every endeavour to ensure that we get tenants for these factories as early as possible?

Mrs. Dunwoody

I will certainly give that undertaking. I know that hon. Members who wax very eloquent against advance factories in the House do not do so in development areas when dealing with their constituents.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

Does the hon. Lady agree that there is little point in building an advance factory in Scotland if it then remains empty for long periods? How can she explain her previous remarks when there has been a loss of 35,000 net jobs over the last four years compared with an increase of 30,000 in the previous four years?

Mrs. Dunwoody

The advance factory programme was started and is being carried on specifically to provide factories so that when tenants want space quickly it can be provided. The hon. Gentleman himself must know that in the past it has been painfully obvious that factories were not available when people wanted them quickly. This factory programme is changing the job picture in Scotland, and he cannot deny it.

Mrs. Ewing

In considering this factory programme, does the hon. Lady seek the advice of the Scottish Economic Planning Board and the economic planning councils? If so, does she follow the advice that she gets?

Mrs. Dunwoody

The Government are in close contact with the economic planning councils and obviously we consider their advice very carefully.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the hon. Lady's failure to answer my question, I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment as early as possible.