HC Deb 11 June 1969 vol 784 cc1456-7
45. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much new infrastructure, such as roads, will be required for the Murco project; and what he estimates will be the cost to public funds.

Mr. Ross

Until it is known whether the project will go ahead, and, if so, in what form, I cannot make such an estimate on a realistic basis.

Mr. Galbraith

If the right hon. Gentleman cannot give any estimate of the additional infrastructure costs, will he say what he thinks the cost of new jobs by way of grant will be, so that we may know what each job will be costing the taxpayer?

Mr. Ross

That again will depend on the ultimate form of the project if it goes ahead. I think that it would be wrong to work on a hypothetical basis at the present time when we are awaiting the report of the inquiry.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

In considering this project, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the comments of the Hunt Committee and also the National Institute recently that we have had an excessive development of capital-intensive as opposed to labour-intensive industries in development areas? Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that this project would fall precisely into that context?

Mr. Ross

That may be true of certain parts, but I know many parts of Scotland which would welcome even capital-intensive industry.