§ Mr. Speaker
We come now to the Motion in the name of the hon. Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne). I have not selected the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes). This debate, as I feared, has been somewhat truncated. A fair number of hon. Members North of the Border wish to speak. I hope that we can have reasonably brief speeches.
§ 4.38 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Bruce-Gardyne (South Angus)
I beg to move,That this House denounces the additional burdens imposed on firms and individuals in Scotland by soaring transport charges, the distortions resulting from the discriminatory nature of selective employment tax and regional employment premium, and the new systems of corporate taxation introduced in 1965, and calls upon the Government to recognise the failure of its attempts to plan the Scottish economy.May I first of all thank you Mr. Speaker for refraining from imposing upon me the sort of whips and scorpions which we gather are being imposed on hon. Members opposite. I can assure the House that if there was any shortage of notice it was through no fault of mine. I am very grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to raise this subject—indeed I am not only grateful, I am stupefied. I belong to the class of people, I think the majority of citizens, who are not ballot winners, who are the sort who always get the horse that scratches before the race begins. I have never had the experience of winning a ballot before, and I am delighted to have been given this opportunity. I hope that hon. Members and myself may take advantage of the time remaining to us.
No doubt other hon. Members will want to refer to various aspects of this Motion. The part to which I wish to call particular attention is the last sentence which calls on the Government "to recognise the failure of its attempts to plan the Scottish economy."
I do not believe in macro-economic planning. Attempts to plan the economy of a nation such as Scotland are doomed to failure from the start. At best they are absurd, at worst malicious. The 1653 party opposite have always expressed the belief that planning would solve all our problems, and they were certainly entitled to have a bash. It is my contention that by now we can see that they have had their bash, and it is Scotland that has taken the knocks.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
Not yet. I do not want to take up too much time.
No doubt we shall get long statistics from hon. Members opposite about the number of roads, houses and schools they have built and the figure for industrial development incentives which, according to an Answer from the Department of Economic Affairs today, was no less than £90 million last year. No doubt we shall get all this at considerable length.
My contention is that to some extent this vast expenditure of the taxpayers' money has positively contributed to our difficulties in Scotland. No doubt we shall hear a lot also about the Government's severity on applications for industrial development certificates in the South and in the Midlands for the benefit of Scotland. I hope that the Government will explain the interesting figures given yesterday which show that this severity produced in 1967 and 1968 the smallest proportion for Scotland since 1961 of the total number of industrial development certificates. I hope also for an explanation of the figures, given yesterday to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward M. Taylor), about the relative increases in industrial development certificates going to Scotland, Wales and England over the past three years.
Above all, no doubt we shall hear about the narrowing unemployment gap—the gap in the statistics of unemployment as between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. We heard about it from the Prime Minister today. He got his figures wrong, but that is not unusual. He said that the gap is now down to 150 per cent. of the United Kingdom figure. It is not, but we will let that pass. The significant thing, of course, is that, while we have indeed had a narrowing of the unemployment gap it is largely because the level of unemployment in the rest of the United Kingdom has been so much higher. In other words, Scotland 1654 has been enjoying an equality of misery—and that many of us hold to be precisely what Socialism is about.
The central target of the famous Scottish Plan, which was supposed to project the future of the Scotish economy under Socialism, was that there would be a net increase of 60,000 jobs up to 1970. If the Minister of State, Scottish Office, has his doubts, I refer him to Table B on page 9 of the Plan.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Dr. J. Dickson Mabon)
Will the hon. Gentleman make it clear that it was up to the end of 1970? He said that it was as of today.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I did say that it was up to the end of 1970. But what we have had is the precise mirror image. We have had a net loss of 60,000 male jobs in Scotland since the Government took office. It is interesting to note that the proportion of the total male adult employment in the United Kingdom currently arising in Scotland is now lower than it was when the Government took office, despite the overall fall of employment experienced since they have been supposedly managing our affairs.
We all realise that the Secretary of State for Scotland has had great difficulties to contend with. He does not rank very high in the Cabinet's pecking order. He ranks a long way behind Mr. Richard Goode of the International Monetary Fund. Some of us are sorry to see that he has been excluded now from the hen-run altogether. In these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that occasionally, it exposes to the world a somewhat acidulous exterior. When the history of the Scottish Office of this century comes to be written, the right hon. Gentleman will probably appear as the "lemon drop kid".
No one tells the Secretary of State anything. When he announced that the largest single increase in jobs in Scotland under his famous Plan would occur in the service industries, no one told him that Dr. Kaldor did not like the service industries and was about to introduce the Selective Employment Tax against them. So how could the right hon. Gentleman know?
But he might have known, because, if there is a huge increase in public sector 1655 expenditure at a time when the wealth of the country is stagnating, as it is under the present Government, it is inevitable that there will be a huge increase in taxation, and it is my argument against the Government that we in Scotland have got very poor value for the taxpayers' money which the Government have expended, that the ways in which the huge increases in taxation have been levied have conflicted with the Government's policy objectives for the Scottish economy, and that they have introduced grave and fundamental distortions into the pattern of economic development in Scotland.
Let us take first the argument about value for money. Many people are becoming aware that the present system of investment incentives in development areas like Scotland is leading, whether intentionally or not, to a concentration not on labour-intensive industries in these areas, which might be thought more suitable for them since they have a higher level of unemployment, but on capital intensive industries. The House will have noted what Professor A. J. Brown had to say in the Hunt Report. Some comments in the November Review of the National Institute, on page 51, are also worth noting. It said:Statistics of the payment of investment grants to various industry-groups for the year 1966–67, just published show that the more capital-intensive the industry the higher was the ratio of investment per man in that industry in development areas to investment per man in it elsewhere … Since the development areas are the places where labour is less scarce than elsewhere, this does not seem to be a desirable effect; nor does it seem appropriate to re-equip them preferentially with the modern equivalents of the heavy, cyclically-sensitive nineteenth century industries which, in their twentieth-century decline, have been the sources of so many of the development areas' woes.That is a very serious argument from a source which can hardly be described as allied or related to the Tory Party and the Government should take it seriously. We can see the factor of concentration on capital-intensive industries at work day by day. A recent report in the Glasgow Herald said that the present rate of taxpayers' subsidy per job needed in Scotland was now running at £5,000.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
The hon. Gentleman shakes his head. I hope that he will produce some figures, for we have been unable to get any from the Board of Trade. Some recent proposals suggest a level of taxpayers' subsidy very much higher than that. I believe that in the case of the Murco Oil Refinery the tax subsidy suggested amounts to £36,500 per job created, and that in the case of Grampian Chemicals in Invergordon it amounts to £70,500. I am second to none in my admiration of these American entrepreneurs, exponents of the private enterprise system which so many hon. Members opposite despise, and their desire to assist us in the development of Scotland. But I wonder whether it makes good sense for the British taxpayer to subsidise their activities on such an enormous scale.
I recently heard some eminent civil servants from the Scottish Office, cross-questioned by the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs in public session, say that they had people coming from all over the world to hear about the sort of incentives offered to firms moving into Scotland. If I put up a notice outside my house offering £70,000 to anybody who would dig my garden I reckon that I would have people queueing up from all over the world.
The inevitable consequence of the soaring level of public sector expenditure, at a time of stagnating output, is higher and higher taxation, and when rapidly rising taxation is coupled with the personality of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who believes that the sole purpose of fiscal legislation is to prevent tax avoidance, one is liable to have some very curious forms of taxation. I want to turn to the effect that these new forms of taxation have had on the family companies, which form the backbone of of Scottish industry.
§ Mr. Archie Manuel (Central Ayrshire)
The hon. Gentleman has for a long time criticised too much money going into the public sector, and has already done so in his speech. Does he fully understand what he is saying? Would he cut back in the Highland counties on afforestation and development of hydro-electricity? That would be a death knell for many of our villages in the Highland areas.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I did not know that Grampian Chemicals was to plant trees. If the hon. Gentleman has evidence of that, he will no doubt give it to the House in due course. I shall speak briefly about forestry later.
I was saying that the so-called close companies, the family companies, form the backbone of much of our industry in Scotland. In my constituency, so far as I am aware, about 500 jobs are produced by public companies and several thousand by private companies, yet those are precisely the companies that the Government have hammered, battered and attacked in Budget after Budget. I admit that the most absurd disability they suffer, concerning their directors' salaries, is to be removed in the forthcoming Finance Bill, no doubt thanks to the good work of the Financial Secretary, who, unlike the Chief Secretary, understands the sort of damage that is being done. We are grateful to him for achieving this victory over his right hon. Friend.
But the most serious disability is the enforced distribution of 60 per cent. of their profits—the whole question of shortfall. I have had a number of discussions with people running family companies in my constituency, who have described how they are constantly at the mercy of decisions of tax inspectors who, with the best will in the world, have limited experience of company taxation and may operate by the book, or may use their heads, according to their own personality.
The Chief Secretary told me two years ago that close companies were to be given at least provisional guidance before they finalised their accounts. I now discover that at any rate in my area this is not happening. This is the sort of thing that the Chief Secretary does not know, and I suspect that he does not care, but it affects such companies all the time.
One of my constituents has drawn my attention to an agreeable little piece of poetry into which the unfortunate chartered accountants of Scotland have been driven in their latest bulletin. Entitled "Reply to Shortfall", it reads:We're trait'rous rats, we're archaic foolsWe've broken one of Harold's rulesForgive our sins, behold our sorrow1658If one expands, one ought to borrowWell may taxmen be concerned,To think we saved what we had earned.Absolve us; you may rest contentIf profit's made, it will be spent—And not on foolish things like toolsWe'll swear that now we know the rulesWe're spending without reservationOn drugs, and drink, and fornication.But shortfall is not the only thing that bothers these unfortunate companies, which are vital to the development of Scotland's industry. In the past two or three years a company in my constituency has built up its export trade to the point where it accounts for two-thirds of its total output. The managing director spends all his time touring the globe, finding new work and opportunities for the company. Thanks to the long-term Capital Gains Tax provisions, introduced in 1965, he now finds that the effect of his efforts has been to double the value of shares on which he may very shortly have to pay Capital Gains Tax because of the folding up of a family trust. He told me, "We are simply making a slick to break our own backs. We may very well be forced to break up the company to meet our Capital Gains Tax and death duty liabilities". That is the sort of situation such companies face.
I am sorry that the Minister of State, Treasury, is leaving, because at least he could report some of this to the Chief Secretary, who I think is very largely unaware of the sort of damage being done.
It is the family companies that must also cope with so many of the horrors of S.E.T. and the regional employment premium. Some of my hon. Friends will no doubt say something about the areas suffering most from S.E.T., because they are most heavily dependent on the service industries. Angus is fortunate in that it has a high proportion of manufacturing industry. But the result is not to alleviate the situation but to increase the distortions with which firms operating in Angus have to deal. [Interruption.] I am used to being heckled from the opposite side of the Chamber, but not from the Gallery.
A baker in my constituency recently told me, "There is another chap with a shop in the High Street who tells me he is getting 37s. 6d. a week from the Government for every man he employs. He is out of his mind, isn't he? I have taken a bet with him." I asked whether the 1659 other man was baking his own bread, and my constituent replied that he thought he probably was. I said, "Then the answer is that he is right, and you have to pay your 37s. 6d. and your bet as well." He said, "This is sheer lunacy", and I agreed with him. He asked what he could do about it, and I said that he had better write to Dr. Kaldor. I do not know whether he did. The moral is that the distortions are greatest in the areas which pay S.E.T., and receive the R.E.P. and have a large proportion of manufacturing industry.
The effect of all these new systems of Government discriminate intervention between industries has been to accelerate the process which the Scottish Council in a recent striking pamphlet which no doubt the Minister of State has read, referred to as the "20th Century Nine of Diamonds", the tendency for the decision-makers to move away, to be drawn towards London, because of the growing involvement of Government in industry and the growing interference of Government in industry, day after day, month after month.
Recently we listened, no doubt with tears in our eyes, to the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) complaining to the Prime Minister that the nationalised industries had concentrated their offices in London. What else did he think they would do? The Prime Minister said, "It's all right, the Forestry Commission has moved out." The right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) pointed out that the Forestry Commission had moved only as far as Basingstoke. The Prime Minister said, "That's all right, what is there to worry about? It is true that the Forestry Commission has gone only as far as Basingstoke, but think of all the trees it is planting in Scotland." We are not interested in trees; we are interested in decision-makers; and we want this process reversed. We want the "20th Century Nine of Diamonds" to be trumped by this Government, and we have very little faith that they can do it; in fact, we know that they cannot.
I turn now to what I see as the answers to the problems which I have tried to outline.
Earl of Dalkeith (Edinburgh, North)
May I, before my hon. Friend moves on—
Earl of Dalkeith
I wonder if my hon. Friend would put the record straight and say that he was not meaning exactly what we heard him say, that we are not interested in trees. We are very interested in trees.
§ Mr. James Hamilton
The hon. Gentleman was speaking about nationalised industries having offices in Scotland. Is he in favour of the direction of industry?
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
No, I am in favour of denationalisation, which I think might solve many of our problems in Scotland.
I turn briefly to what seems to me to be the solution. The solution is, first, to simplify greatly the system of encouragement to regional development and, secondly, to make sure that profitability is rewarded and that loss making and the inefficient use of industry are not boosted up.
The Scottish C.B.I. last year put forward interesting proposals for a 50 per cent. cut in Corporation Tax in Scotland and other development areas and a 50 per cent. reduction in the compulsory level of distributions of close companies. I am not in favour of the second proposal because I believe that the right answer for close companies is to go back to the system whereby the onus should be on the taxman to show that a company should distribute more than it intends to. But I am very much in favour of further investigation of differential Corporation Tax, which I hope the Government will do in some detail.
I go further and say that we need a system of regionally differentiated payroll tax, which would make employers in the over-developed and over-crowded areas pay the proper over-all economic 1661 costs of employing people in these areas and give them incentives to move to areas where there is room to expand.
Above all, the Government must stop interfering with industry in the way that this Government does. We must get the Government off the backs of the Scottish taxpayers and see, for a change, what the individual initiative of the citizens of Scotland can do.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
I have put down an Amendment to the Motion; am I not entitled to be called to move the Amendment immediately after the speech of the hon. Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne)?
Mr. Deputy Speaker
Mr. Speaker announced that he had not selected the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment. Signature to an Amendment does not give a prescriptive right to be called.
§ 5.5 p.m.
§ Mr. William Hamilton (Fife, West)
I find the hon. Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) one of the most objectionable Tory Members of this House. He is like an impertinent little schoolboy spitting at his teacher, and the sneering, smirking, supercilious remarks which he made about the Chief Secretary will be treated with the contempt they deserve.
The hon. Member for South Angus said that he was not a ballot winner. Neither am I; I have never yet won a ballot in all the 19 years I have been in the House. I was very glad when the hon. Gentleman won first place and still more pleased that I have been selected to follow immediately on the speech which he has made.
He referred to various aspects of what he called the failures of the attempts of this Government to manage or plan the Scottish economy, and he went on immediately to say that he did not believe in planning. It was his Government that produced a plan for Central Scotland in 1963. They decided after 12 years that a plan was necessary. The House would be interested to know whether the official Opposition believes in planning the economy, or whether it believes, as does 1662 the right hon. Member for Wolverharnpton, South-West (Mr. Powell), that market forces and only market forces should be allowed to dictate the way the economy goes. The right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West is on record as saying that if Scots have to leave Scotland to find jobs in England, then let them go; these are the economic forces at work.
The hon. Gentleman went on to say that he had no doubt that hon. Members on this side would produce many statistics. I notice that he was careful not to do so; I wonder why. The reason is not far to seek and is quite simple. Whatever statistics are produced, whether in the provision of houses, new factory space, hospitals, roads, schools, university places, whatever yardstick one takes, the increase since October, 1964 has been between 30 per cent. and 160 per cent. These are facts which the hon. Gentleman cannot deny. When he said in his absurd way yesterday, and repeated today, that it will cost £36,500 per job in the Murco Oil project and £70,500 per job in the electrochemical project in the North, he was talking absolute rubbish.
Some years ago I served on an Estimates Sub-Committee which investigated Board of Trade development district policy, as it then was. We asked the Board of Trade to produce—this happened in the days of the Conservative Government—a yardstick of the cost per job and they said that it was almost impossible to do it. Although jobs came about through the provision of factory space, other jobs come along as a consequence and it is impossible to have an accurate measurement of the cost per job.
The hon. Member should acquaint himself with the evidence which was given to the new Select Committee on Scottish Affairs by Mr. Haddow, Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office. He made several points which are worth putting on record, and he is a gentleman who should know what he is talking about. He said that any reduction in public expenditure in Scotland would mean a reduction in the number of jobs coming to Scotland.
The Conservative Party is on record as favouring a substantial reduction of public expenditure in Scotland, including the reduction in housing subsidies in the development areas, which virtually is the 1663 whole of Scotland, apart from Edinburgh. That would include many other things, such as farm subsidies—
§ Mr. Hamilton
Including taxation. But at a time when the Conservative Party opposes withdrawal of forces east of Suez, opposes the abolition of the Territorial Army, and opposes the abandonment of TSR2 and other sophisticated aircraft, it is difficult to marry the two propositions.
Mr. Haddow's evidence to the Select Committee was explicit, that any reduction in the size of the development area in Scotland would be a disaster. I am not sure that I have given his exact phraseology, but the indication was undoubtedly there. The Conservative Party is on record as seeking to reduce the development area and we should like from the Opposition a clear statement about which areas they would take out of the development programme.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
My hon. Friend will be aware that the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. Gordon Campbell) is at present engaged on going round Scotland expounding the policy of growth points. Every place he visits he gives the impression will be a growth point.
§ Mr. Hamilton
This is what I have found. Hon. Members opposite say that they favour the policy of growth points, but wherever they go is to be a growth point. It is important for us to get on record what they mean by growth point. Will the constituency of the hon. Member for South Angus be excluded? I believe that under his Government they were excluded.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
Since my constituency has been referred to, the hon. Member may be interested to know that since we have had the benefit of development area status and the enormous additional incentives which the Government have offered not one single firm has moved into the area from outside.
§ Mr. Hamilton
If I were an industrialist in the South I would take one look at the hon. Member for that area and say, "I am not going there". If I were a Government Minister I would 1664 warn them about that too. That is as sensible an answer as the hon. Member has ever given to any hon. Member on this side.
If I may go on with the evidence given by Mr. Haddow, he referred to the i.d.c. policy, a policy which the present Government have pursued with a ruthlessness which has been attacked many times on this side of the House by Members of Parliament from the Midlands and London constituencies, but which has produced results and narrowed the gap between the unemployment rate in Scotland and that in the rest of the United Kingdom.
I had an interesting conflict in relation to Glenrothes when the G.E.C./A.E.I. merger took place. We in Scotland benefited because jobs and machinery were coming to Glenrothes from Woolwich since the Woolwich factory was closing down. Those of my hon. Friends whose constituencies were affected in the south were under pressure from their constituents to get G.E.C./A.E.I. to slow down the rundown or the factories in Woolwich. I went upstairs to listen to meetings with constituents who were affected, and the workers made some very powerful points. I was under pressure in Glenrothes to speed up the process and get the machinery and work up to Fife. I am glad to say that we won the day.
One of the difficulties of the regional employment policy relates to the conflicting interests which are involved. Of course the hon. Members who are adversely affected fight strenuously, as is their right, and equally we fight to protect our interests. Inevitably there are conflicts. But we must decide whether we want a fairer distribution of industrial resources as between England and Scotland, and if we do we must pay the price.
Mr. Haddow said that any slackening of the i.d.c. policy would make it impossible, or certainly most difficult, to increase the rate at which new industry is coming into Scotland at present. In relation to the absurd point which was made by the hon. Member opposite about the cost per job, Mr. Haddow pointed out that one should avoid making an arithmetical calculation of cost per job in pounds, shillings and pence. Clearly in the remote areas of Scotland, as well as in areas in other parts of the British Isles which are remote from the 1665 major markets, important social factors are involved. It might be infinitely more valuable socially to provide ten jobs in the Highlands than to provide a hundred jobs in the central industrial belt. One cannot measure it in terms of pounds, shillings and pence. The hon. Member was trying to make non points.
He then went on to deal with nationalised industries which concentrate their offices in London. I was not aware of any great activity on his behalf when his Government were in power.
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Member may not have been here, but I was not aware that there was any activity on the part of hon. Gentlemen opposite in pressing their own Government to decentralise the offices of nationalised industries in that period of 13 years.
§ Mr. Younger
Does the hon. Member not remember that the Post Office Savings Bank was brought up to Scotland by my right hon. Friend?
§ Mr. Hamilton
We were discussing the nationalised industries. But that was done in the dying days of the Administration of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. In any event, I have long argued for the decentralisation of those offices, and I have had precious little support from right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. Over the years, when I was in opposition and since my right hon. and hon. Friends have been in Government, I am on record as making strong and consistent representations to Governments to decentralise the offices of the nationalised industries.
The hon. Gentleman went on to say that the real solution is denationalisation. That is the greatest possible nonsense. If he looks at the railways, for instance, would he be prepared to buy a single share in Scotland's railways? Is there any hon. Member opposite who would be prepared to buy a controlling interest in them? The fact is that there is hardly a stretch of railway line in Scotland which pays its way.
§ Mr. Hamilton
My hon. Friend confirms what I thought. There is not a single stretch of railway line in Scotland 1666 which is paying its way. We keep them because of their social value.
I am surprised that the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr David Steel) is not here to try to make his point about the Borders. There comes a point where a railway line is so uneconomic that it has to be closed. One of the reasons why right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite lost so many Scottish seats in the 1964 and 1966 elections was that they accepted hook, line and sinker the report of Lord Beeching. That is why they lost seats to the Liberals in the Highland areas. The Highlands would have been a virtual desert in terms of transport if the Beeching Report had been accepted.
When Lord Beeching appeared before a Select Committee, we asked him, "If there is a railway line between A and B running at a loss but, because it exists, there are 4,000 or 5,000 jobs at point A, would you keep the railway open?" He replied, "My remit is to look at the railways and not at anything else. If the railway line is running at a loss, I will recommend its closure." We then asked him, "What happens to the 5,000 jobs?" He replied, "That is not my problem That is someone else's problem."
The Government have to look at the problems in toto. They have to estimate the social, economic and political effects of closing a line. They have to weigh them up and make a political decision.
§ Mr. Younger
The hon. Gentleman's memory is not at its best today. His party won the 1964 and 1966 elections on the basis of the pledge, "We will halt the Beeching closures." However, not only have his Government carried on with the Beeching closures. They have closed several lines which were not mentioned by Beeching, such as the Ayr—Kilmarnock line and the Kinross line.
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Gentleman normally is a fair-minded character as Tories go. If I have the figures right, Beeching would have left 8,000 miles of railway, and we have settled for 11,000 miles. That is nearly a 50 per cent. increase on the Beeching recommendations.
Perhaps I might leave the railways and turn to the denationalisation of coal. I ask the same question. Who on that side 1667 of the House would buy shares in the coal industry? They might now, because it is a profitable industry. The productivity of the coal industry over the years is better than that of almost any other industry in Britain. We have expended enormous sums of public money in investment which right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite want to cut. Is this to be one of their cuts? Will they cut down the capital investment programme of the coal industry?
§ Mr. Alex Eadie (Midlothian)
If we are dealing with costs, is my hon. Friend aware that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite brought into being the nuclear power programme to build nuclear power stations which have turned out to be more expensive than coal and have cost thousands of miners their jobs in Scotland?
§ Mr. Hamilton
My hon. Friend has me at a disadvantage. He has studied this matter in detail. He has a great knowledge of it. He has a lot in common with the coal mining industry. He came here straight from the industry. He has forgotten more about it than any hon. Member opposite knows. When he talks about the coal-mining industry, hon. Members would be wise to listen to him. He is right when he says that the rundown of the coal-mining industry and the development of other fuels, whether they be nuclear or natural gas, produced great friction in coal-mining areas. He is one of my constituents, so I have to woo him. He is not exactly a floating voter, but he knows the problem in Fife better than I do.
In the last ten or 11 years, the number of employees in coalmining in Fife alone has gone down from roughly 25,000 to about 5,000. That has happened with remarkably little friction because of what the National Coal Board and the Government have done to humanise this kind of revolution. The same can be said all over Scotland.
Of course, there are hardships. Together with my hon. Friend, my hon. Friend the Member for Dunfermline Burghs (Mr. Adam Hunter) and you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I have made representations to the Government to reopen the Michael Colliery. It was closed by a fire which no one and no amount 1668 of planning could have foreseen. It caused 1,200 men to be thrown out of their jobs. However, very nearly all of them have been redeployed, and new advance factories have been brought in. If the hon. Member for South Angus had his way, these men might find their way to the South-East and become waiters or chefs. The right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) is on record as saying that they could come down here and be waiters. Perhaps he does not remember saying that, but I can. I have it in my files. If he wants it, I will give him the reference.
§ Mr. James Hamilton
I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will remember the strong protests which came from the Scottish Trades Union Congress when he made that statement. I am sure that he will not forget it.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Kinross and West Perthshire)
I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon. My attention had wandered slightly.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I will repeat the point. The right hon. Gentleman is on record as having said many years ago that unemployed miners in Scotland could find jobs by coming down to London to become waiters and chefs or obtain domestic employment.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Those are not the exact words, but I can give the right hon. Gentleman the reference if he would like it. I do not think that he will challenge them. If he does, I will write to him, as Ministers usually say.
I turn to the denationalisation of the electricity industry—
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Gentleman referred to denationalisation, and he has given us a chance to discuss the Scottish 1669 economy. We will discuss it in our own way.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
Of course we will discuss it, but I was hoping that other hon. Members might be able to contribute to the debate.
§ Mr. Hamilton
We are discussing what to me is a most important point. The hon. Gentleman said that he would denationalise. I do not know whether it is the policy of his party, but that is what he said, and I now turn to the electricity industry.
One of the most important social and economic developments in Scotland was the setting up of the Hydro-Electric Board. As a result, almost every hon. Gentleman opposite representing a Highlands constituency has benefited. I do not know the percentage of farms in the Highlands which have been electrified as a direct result and at great economic loss.
§ Mr. Hamilton
It is still going on, as my hon. Friend says. I think that over 90 per cent. have been electrified. Only the more remote areas are without electricity. This is due to the argument that it is of advantage socially to Scotland, as well as economically, that these farms should be kept in existence. If electricity was denationalised and was measured in purely economic terms of profit and loss—and the hon. Member for South Angus said that he wanted the profit motive to be encouraged in the economy of the Highlands—the Highlands would be little more than a rocket range. The hon. Gentleman should be careful before making these sweeping generalisations about how he thinks the economy of Scotland ought to work and how he thinks it is being distorted by this Government's policy of intervention.
I come now to specific problems which the hon. Gentleman coasted round very carefully. I do not blame him, because he did not have a very good case to present.
First, I want to deal with unemployment in Scotland. Under this Government not once since October, 1964, has the figure gone over 100,000. The highest was 95,300 in January, 1968.
1670 Looking at the figures for 1963, the monthly average was 104,800. In round figures, 105,000 every month of that year, and that was 12 years after the Tory Party took office. In February 1963, the figure was 136,000.
In 1968, the third full year of this Labour Government, the monthly average was 82,900. That was at the height of the economic freeze. The hon. Gentleman is right in saying that we take great pride in the fact that the percentage of unemployment in Scotland, as a percentage of the Great Britain figure, has gone down very significantly. The gap has considerably reduced. In October 1964, when this Government came into office, the Scottish figure, as a percentage of the Great Britain figure, was 20.5. In other words, we had more than a fifth of the total unemployment of Great Britain. In October 1968 the figure was 14.4, so the gap had narrowed by 6 per cent.
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) is woefully ignorant of matters generally, but more so of Scottish matters specifically. He sits there snoozing. I do not want to disturb him unduly, but he ought to make intelligent remarks if he is at all conscious.
I now turn to the housing figures. The hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr Edward M. Taylor) is not present.
§ Mr. James Hamilton
Before my hon. Friend turns to the housing figures, may I ask him to remind the Opposition, in reply to the many questions they are putting to this side of the House in relation to the so-called lost jobs, that in Lanarkshire we cannot get the skilled craftsmen so urgently required for the new industries which are coming?
§ Mr. William Hamilton
My hon. Friend is forestalling me. I was coming to that point in about half an hour or so. I will touch on that point later.
I want to deal with housing.
§ Mr. George Willis (Edinburgh, East)
From the figures that my hon. Friend has just given about unemployment—and he always documents his case admirably—the argument of the hon. Member for South Angus, who has now 1671 disappeared, that the only reason why the Scottish unemployment figure is 1.5 per cent. higher than the English is because there are more unemployed in England is complete nonsense.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I did not wish to say that. If I contradicted all the inaccuracies of the Opposition I should make a much longer speech, and I do not want to be too long.
I turn now to housing. I was saying, before being interrupted, that the hon. Member for Cathcart is not with us. He was not with us when we had the debate on the Housing Bill. I think that he was junketing on the Q.E.2 on the South Coast at that time. He was so concerned about the housing problem in Scotland that he chose to have a nice fat lunch on the Q.E.2. But it was he who said, when the completions figure for 1965 was not as great as in 1964, that this was a wicked criminal misdemeanour by the present Government. We tried to point out to him that the completions in 1965 were poor, or not as good as we hoped, because the starts in 1963 and 1964 were so bad. There cannot be completions unless there have been starts. The starts were so bad that the completions reflected them in 1965.
§ Mr. Younger
Will the hon. Gentleman explain why, the Minister of State in June, 1965, having said that it was expected that 47,000 houses would be built that year, with all the information on which to base that statement, nowhere near that number were completed?
§ Mr. Hamilton
The Minister of State will defend himself, if he has the time. I am not here to defend him.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I was trying to make the same point, but in much less polished terms. No doubt my hon. Friend will develop that point when he winds up the debate.
Perhaps I might proceed with what I want to say about housing. There has been a criminal disregard of the needs 1672 of the people over generations by successive Tory Governments. The housing debates in the 1920s and 1930s make appalling reading. Those were the days when the Tory Party had complete power to do what it liked. Hon Gentlemen opposite ought to be locked up in Barlinnie for their wilful neglect of what is and will remain the greatest social problem in Scotland for decades to come.
Although this Government have an amazingly good record in housing, there is still a long way to go. Anyone who has read the Cullingworth Report should be ashamed that these conditions obtain and will remain in Scotland for many years yet. The Tory Party has perpetrated a great crime on the people of Scotland over the years. It may be that much of the crime and violence today can be traced to failure in the past to tackle the physical and mental squalor generated by slum schools, slum houses, slum hospitals and all the human degradation associated with the capitalist free enterprise law of jungle philosophy that the hon. Member for South Angus propounded this afternoon.
Perhaps I might give just two figures. They will suffice, and my hon. Friend can either enlarge on them or correct them. In 1963, the 12th year of the Tory Government, the total number of house completions was 28,217. In the last full year of Labour Government, last year, the figure was 41,989, almost a 50 per cent. increase in only the third full year of Labour Government, with all the economic problems that we had to face. We are determined to try to tackle this social scourge in Scotland in a way that right hon. and hon. Gentleman opposite never dreamed of doing. They were incapable of tackling the problem. In fact, they were indifferent to it.
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire)
Does my hon. Friend agree that the houses now being built by local authorities are of a much higher standard? Does he know that Lanarkshire County Council has installed central heating and double glazing in every house that it has built? These houses are taking the place of some of the shocking houses in which miners and their families have had to live for generations.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I am glad that my right hon. Friend has made that point, because 1673 it was made by the Minister of State. When he was answering Questions last week he said then that the quality of housing had been much improved, but I notice that the Tory Press was at great pains not to make that point, but merely to talk about soaring house prices in Scotland. This is the kind of distortion to which we are so subject in the Scottish Tory Press. Instead of saying that we are building houses of the kind that people deserve, with all the facilities which have been denied them for so long, and to which my right hon. Friend has drawn attention, all we get is distortion of the facts.
Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite talk about the Labour Government being opposed to private ownership of houses. Let me remind them that if facts and figures prove anything that is simply not so. The 41,989 houses completed last year included a record of 8,720 in the private sector. We do not talk about these things. We get them done. Hon. Gentlemen opposite talk about the difficulties of getting mortgages, and so on. The fact is that records are being broken all the time for house-building. People want, and are getting, their own houses. It is always difficult to get one's own house. I advocated in Committee upstairs when we were discussing the Housing Bill that we ought to build more houses for private ownership. If we are to get the new kinds of industry that we want, and are getting, we must build more and more houses for executives, managers, and well-paid manual workers to buy. We want to encourage them in house ownership. The proportion of houses being built for private ownership in Scotland is nothing like the figure for England, where the total building is divided between private and public ownership. In Scotland the figure is roughly one-privately-owned house to four publicly-owned houses, and this position must be redressed.
Another figure which I should like to put on record is that more than 50,000 houses are under construction in Scotland, and have been at the end of each of the last four years.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I am sorry if I did not make that point. I was going to say that it was the highest figure in history, but that cannot be, because under the previous dispensation in the nineteenth century all the houses were privately built. That is what we are suffering from now. When the hon. Gentleman talks about private enterprise solving Scotland's problems, let him look at private enterprise housing and see whether they provide the solution.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite receive what is called the Westminster Echo. It is sent to them free by a three-times-failed Tory Parliamentary candidate. He sounds a civilised fellow, but I have never met him. In the last issue of that paper he said that we have to get rid of all these sacred cows of social services, and that we should get rid of all publicly-owned council houses and let market forces prevail. He said that we should get rid of rent control. I wonder whether that is the policy of the Conservative Party. We are never quite clear what its policy is on any of these things.
So long as we have in Scotland a tradition of renting accommodation we must provide for that sector, and so long as this Government are in power, and that is for as long as I can see, we shall continue to build in the way that we are doing now, and in fact increase the number of houses that we are providing.
I turn for a moment from housing, though I shall come back to another aspect of it. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman must not get impatient. I am on page 4 of my notes, and I have 36 pages.
I propose now to discuss educational building projects approved, and again I give the figures which the hon. Member for South Angus avoided. In 1964 the value of projects approved was £22.877 million. In 1967 the figure was £35.04 million, an increase of more than 50 per cent. Perhaps my hon. Friend will give us the figure for projects approved in 1968.
For school building, if one takes the last four years of the Conservative Government, one sees that up to October 1964 the figure was £57.5 million. In the four years of Labour Government up 1675 to October, 1968, the figure was £76.7 million, an increase of £20 million, or about 30 per cent. to 40 per cent.
The figure for further education building was given to my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell (Mr. Lawson) in answer to a Question last week. In the three and a half years up to October, 1964, the figure was £37.8 million. In the three and a half years after October, 1964, it was £57.2 million, again an increase of 60 per cent. Capital expenditure in respect of universities also shows an increase. In 1963–64, the last full year of Conservative Government, after 13 years to do what they liked to get the economy going—we heard all about never having had it so good and all that kind of nonsense—the total expenditure was £5.2 million. In 1967–68 it was £13.2 million, an increase of more than 150 per cent. This expenditure represents investment in our future, because unless we produce university graduates we cannot produce the kind of skilled manpower for the industries about which I was talking a few moments ago.
§ Mr. Michael Noble (Argyll)
I know how courteous the hon. Member is, at least outside the Chamber. If he has told his hon. Friends that he intends to take the rest of the debate, thereby ignoring Mr. Speaker's request to us to speak for a short time, could he tell the rest of the House, because we can then go away and do something useful?
§ Mr. Hamilton
If the right hon. Gentleman does not want to listen to the facts, he can go, but I shall make my speech and I shall finish it.
§ Mr. Hamilton
That is something not unknown to hon. Members opposite, who take 50-odd minutes on an Amendment to the Post Office Bill. When I am getting on towards that, then I shall have started.
I wish to refer to the number of university students. In 1963–64, in Scottish universities, it was 21,921. In 1966–67 it was 29,748—a 40 per cent. increase—but the figures by faculty show a much more disturbing trend. In those four years, from 1964 to 1968, there has been an increase of more than 70 per cent. in the arts and social studies, but less 1676 than 3 per cent. in technology. This is a disturbing trend. I do not know how we solve it unless we consider differential grants, saying that a student would get so much less if he studied arts and social studies than if he studied technology. But the universities then immediately complain about interference with academic freedom. If a student wants to study Greek instead of some technology, they say, he should be allowed to do it. I am not sure that that is wise, however, when public financial and teaching resources are in such short supply.
Between 1961–62 and 1964–65, the expenditure on roads in Scotland was £131 million and, between 1965–66 and 1968–69, it was £209 million. That is a 60 per cent. increase. Everyone would agree that, if we are to get the economic and industrial structure of Scotland right, it is vital to provide the transport facilities and we are doing that with roads. We are tackling the ports and the railway problem and the airport problem. I am sorry that the Tory-controlled Edinburgh council has been dragging its heels for so long about Turnhouse that we are in difficulties there, but what can one expect from a Tory-controlled council like that?
§ Mr. Eadie
This is very important, since some electioneering is going on at the moment. Does my hon. Friend realise that the A8 was recognised as a killer road and there was talk of an M8? Is he aware that our Government do not just talk about it, that the targets are set and it will become the M8 some time in the early 1970s?
§ Mr. Hamilton
I have many notes and facts and figures here about the road programme, but I have deliberately curtailed them. However, if my hon. Friend catches your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker—he will be lucky—he will no doubt develop that point.
I now want to turn to the major point which the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn is always bellyaching about—the question of jobs. In a Question on 23rd April, in column 463, he referred to the creation of 157,000 new jobs in the period 1960–64. I hope that he is with me, because I have the OFFICIAL REPORT with me. But he omitted to mention the number of jobs lost in the same period, which was 127,000. So, in their last four years—they have been in power then 1677 since 1951 and had had all these years to solve this problem—there was a net gain of 30,000 new jobs in Scotland, or 7,500 per year for those last four years.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn)
I have always compared like with like and I have compared the 157,000 gross gain with the 130,000 target gross gain which this Government have put forward over six years. Indeed, only at Question Time, if the hon. Member had been here, he would have heard me referring again to the 30,000 net gain which I compared with the 35,000 net loss.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I am coming to this point, as no doubt will my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State. My point at the moment is that the record which the hon. Gentleman keeps crowing about is nothing worth crowing about. The important point is that the hon. Gentleman and his friends had then been in office for ten years before they reached that figure. This Government have been in office only three or four years—
§ Mr. Hamilton
If it depends on the capacities of the hon. Member, we will be here till the end of the century. It was not until 1963 that the Tories produced any kind of plan and then only for the central belt. The Highlands and the Lowlands never existed for them.
For the financial years 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, and 1964–65, which were the last financial years of the Conservative Government, the amount of financial inducement under the Local Employment Acts was £79 million. But for the four years of the Labour Government—1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68 and the first ten months of 1969—the total is £66 million. Therefore, with one year and ten months less, the figure is only £13 million less and if one adds another year on that, one can see that it will be well in excess of the Conservative figures.
From the last three years of the Conservative Government—I want to compare like with like—and the first three years of the Labour Government, one sees that the total expenditure under the Conservatives was £38.648 million. That would provide an estimated total of additional 1678 jobs of 41,100—not a bad record, as Tory records go. But, in the first three full years of the Labour Government, the expenditure has been £52,774 which would provide an estimated additional total of jobs of 103,789. One cannot argue about this; these are official statistics.
I turn now to the i.d.c.s approved in Scotland. From 1961 to 1964, 621 i.d.c.s were approved, giving an estimated total number of new jobs of 54,610, of which 35,000 were for males. In the period 1965 to 1968, 1,022 i.d.c.s were approved—about 66 per cent. more than in the comparable Conservative period—with 41.141 million sq. ft. of factory space being provided against about 19 million sq. ft. under the Conservatives, giving an estimated total number of new jobs of 84,170, 50,900 of which were for males.
§ Mr. Younger
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that those figures are not correct because the statistics of expenditure under the local employment legislation make no allowance for investment allowances paid under the system, including free depreciation, which the Socialists abolished on taking office?
§ Mr. Hamilton
I will willingly give the hon. Gentleman all the figures he needs, relating to S.E.T. and regional employment premiums, grants and so on.
§ Mr. Manuel
My hon. Friend is making a massive case in repudiation of the Motion. To ensure complete comparability, will he give the figures of the number of new jobs provided and the amount of new factory space made available under the Conservatives between 1951 and 1953?
§ Miss Herbison
Before my hon. Friend does that, is he aware that he is being too generous to hon. Gentlemen opposite? He has been comparing their last three years in office with our first three years in Government. Their last three years were much better than the 10 years which preceded them, mainly because they were attempting at that time to do better because of the fright that they suffered 1679 in the 1959 election, when Labour did so well in Scotland.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I am bending over backwards to be fair to hon. Gentlemen opposite. I could be ruthless and refer to the early 'fifties. They were converted characters as the 1964 General Election approached.
In view of the intervention of the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger), I will compare like with like and give the figures he wants. In the period 1960–61 to 1964–65—the last period of Conservative rule—the total number of projects approved was 894. The value in that period of factory building was £29,900. There were general purpose loans in that period worth £43,179,000, general grants worth £2,660,000, building grants worth £5,885,000 and grants for building and machinery worth £2,436,000, giving a grand total of £79.06 million. I think that those figures cover all the aspects the hon. Gentleman had in mind.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harry Gourlay)
Order. We have already had a number of interventions. This is a short debate and Mr. Speaker has appealed for short speeches.
§ Mr. Hamilton
In the last full year of Labour Government, 1967–68, 756 projects were approved—that is, in one year—with factory building expenditure amounting to £4.52 million, general purpose loans expenditure totalling £4.455 million, general purpose grants were £620,000, building grants worth £7.249 million and expenditure on plant and machinery grants worth £799,000, giving a total of £17.643 million. Those figures relate to one year only. If one takes the period 1965–66 to the end of the first 10 months of 1968–69, the total figure reached £66.039 million. I hope that that answers the hon. Member for Ayr; and if he requires further statistics I will willingly give them to him privately.
In a Question yesterday I asked the President of the Board of Trade for the latest figures of industrial building completed in Scotland. I was informed that from October, 1964, to June, 1968—-I gather that these are the latest statistics available—19.2 million sq. ft. of factory space had been provided in Scotland. The 1680 number of jobs expected when that space is full manned up is 33,000 male jobs and 22,000 female jobs. In the comparable period up to October, 1964, 15.9 million sq. ft. of industrial building was completed and that was estimated to give 28,000 male and 15,000 female jobs, a poor record from whatever angle one looks at it.
§ Mr. W. H. K. Baker (Banff)
In view of the absence of the hon. Lady the Member for Hamilton (Mrs. Ewing), would the hon. Gentleman give the source of his information, since the hon. Lady is always complaining about the lack of vital statistics?
§ Mr. Hamilton
The one statistic that interests us is the hon. Lady's attendance record in the House. I would have thought that a debate of this kind, which is of crucial importance to the Scottish economy, would have secured the hon. Lady's attendance, particularly since she pretends to have the interests of Scotland at heart. She is invariably absent on these occasions. She was absent from the two-day debate on housing and she is absent today. How can she neglect to attend on these occasions yet complain about not being able to get into debates or about us not having sufficient discussion of the Scottish economy? Her absence today is deplorable and cannot be excused. I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has drawn it to my attention. I was not going to mention it, but I am pleased that the matter has been raised.
I hope that I shall be permitted a comment on a constituency case. I refer to the remarkable transformation which has taken place not only in my constituency but to a lesser degree—no doubt because it is represented by a Conservative—in the constituency of the hon. Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Gilmour). If one compares what happened in the west central industrial part of this part of the country in the period 1961 to 1964 with what occurred later, under Labour, one must agree that a remarkable transformation has occurred.
In the closing years, the dying era, of Tory Government, between 1961 and 1964, 53 i.d.c.s were approved for Fife, with factory floor area of 1.629 million sq. ft. having been provided. It was 1681 estimated that, when that space was fully manned up, there would be an additional 2,590 male jobs and a total of 5,100 jobs.
In the period 1965–68 under the present Government the number of i.d.c.s. was 74, an increase of just under 50 per cent. The area was even more remarkable, 4,398,000 sq. ft. of factory space, more than 150 per cent. increase in Fife alone. Jobs in prospect totalled 9,980 for males and a total of 17,100, an increase overall of 240 per cent. in the numbers of jobs expected to be provided under our dispensation in our first three years compared with the Tories' last three years.
§ Sir John Gilmour (Fife, East)
Does the hon. Member agree that many of these jobs will be on the industrial estate at Donibristle and the Secretary of State did not even attend its opening?
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Member should not make finicky points such as that. If he wants to make a debating point like that he should take account of the facts. The men on the spot are concerned to get jobs, which they did not get under the Tory Government. They are getting them increasingly under the Labour Government. The question of who attends a silly opening is neither here nor there.
I turn to the exciting question of the remarkable growth of the electronics and telecommunications industry in Scotland. This is Scotland's future. I am not making a party point here; that is not my custom. I am giving the facts as objectively as I can. They speak for themselves and there is no need to make party points about them. In 1963 12,600 were employed in this industry. This was a deliberate Government intervention and injection of public money. In 1968 that number had gone up to 28,500, and the expansion is still going on.
There was a fascinating article in the Scotsman of 24th April. I hope that every hon. Member present read it. The Scotsman is not notable for its support of the Labour Party or the Labour Government. It is much fairer than the Glasgow Herald, but that is not saying much. The article made a good exposition of what is happening in the electronics industry in Scotland. The Motorola Corporation of Chicago is to establish a 1682 micro electronics factory at East Kilbride employing at least 2,000 in the next three years and 4,000 eventually. It will give Scotland a stake in a £300 million a year international operation. The Motorola Corporation is one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. It is the 100th American company to set up in Scotland since Uniroyal went there 113 years ago.
Honeywell's, already established in Scotland, has welcomed the Motorola decision because it uses a substantial volume of Motorola devices. Honeywell's announced in December 1968 plans to take over two factories at Uddington and Bellshill. It will be taking on another 900 employees in the next 12 months in addition to the 670 added to its payroll in 1968. When one looks at the 20 years of development of Honeywell's since 1948, one sees that it has invested £22 million in Scotland and is doubling its rate of business every four years. This is the kind of industry we all want in Scotland.
It is almost exactly a year ago to the day that Burroughs of London announced plans for a £4 million computer factory at Glenrothes in my constituency. It will employ 1,000, mostly men, by 1970. That will be the third Burroughs factory in Scotland.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I do not want to appear discourteous, but I have appealed for reasonably short speeches as this is a short debate.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I appealed yesterday for short speeches but we had a speech of 50 minutes on the first Amendment to the Bill we were then considering. One is entitled to retaliate a little for this kind of treatment. It takes two to play this game and I am the second. I have much useful information to put on record and I think it important that I should put it on record.
The Signetics Corporation, one of the United States "big four" in the rapidly growing industry of semi-conductor micro circuits, has chosen Linlithgow for a factory which will employ 200 eventually rising to about 500. In West Lothian already more than 3,000 are employed by the Hewlett-Packard-Dynamco and Plessey. Plessey's intend to extend its labour force by 200 or 300 in the next three years. There is also the S.G.C. 1683 Group at Falkirk, Olivetti, and many others. The G.E.C.-A.E.I. complex in Fife employs about 3,000 in Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy. I have made reference to this merger which may have been to the great detriment of the South-East, in Woolwich and elsewhere, but we make no apology for that as it is bringing jobs to Scotland and the North-East of England which also gets the benefit.
§ Mr. Maclennan
In view of the central and almost dominating rôle which my hon. Friend is playing in this debate, I hope he will not leave this subject without making some reference to the enormous assistance which this Government have given to the economy of the Highlands. My hon. Friend has painted a very broad picture, but he has not brought out that half of Scotland is covered by the work of the Highland Development Board.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I have taken a fair amount of time and if I developed arguments about the Highlands, although I would like to do so, I should take far too long and I still have a fair amount of material. The Highland Development Board, if it was not opposed, was only tepidly accepted by hon. Members opposite. If we had waited we would never have got the Board established by them. There are Tory landowners in the Highlands who have done their best since its inception to strangle and denigrate the Board. It is doing a wonderful job. For the first time in generations the Highlands area is having new life breathed into it.
The hon. Member for South Angus appeared to pour cold water on certain developments taking place or projected in the Highlands. Incidentally, in addition to public enterprise, private enterprise is having money poured into it. This is encouraging growth in the Highlands and great tribute should be paid to the Board. With the help of my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) the Board's case is being pushed as far as possible and it is getting results, for which I am glad.
I want to refer to an article which appeared in The Guardian a little while ago about the property market in Scotland. The article by John Kerr stated: 1684Politicians, like piccolo players, are frequently a hard-done-by fraternity. So often they tootle and no one seems to hear or pay attention. Mr. William Ross, Scotland's own Minister, is a typical case in point. He has not missed half a chance in the past two years to produce statistics designed to show that the Government's regional development policies are, as he puts it, beginning to bite. More often than not it has been his fate to meet with the sort of phlegmatic scepticism induced by party political broadcasts. A look around the Scottish property markets, however, suggests that there is indeed some sweet music in what Mr. Ross has had to say.The most significant indication, in this respect, that the economy is on the move is the growth of investment in commercial and industrial property. There is no more reliable criterion of promise and prospects than the actual flow of free money.The Ronald Lyon Group was one of the first major operators to take the plunge in Scotland. In three years they have built up a committed investment of more than £5 million in 24 industrial estates or individual sites. They are now talking of expansion on the scale of a further £35 million to be spent over the next 15 years.They have tackled with some success the task of putting new industrial wine into redundant bottles; notably at the former Harland and Wolff foundry in Govan. Two similar projects on Clydeside are in hand, and the group is also purposely active in new city development. In Edinburgh, work has started on a £2 million, 150 bedroom hotel"—notwithstanding S.E.T.—adjoining the new Meadowbank sports stadium, which is to house the Commonwealth Games next year. In Glasgow, the group has plans for a 20-storey shop and office complex on which work is expected to start soon.So the article goes on, showing that property developers have great confidence in the way that the Scottish economy is going under the present Government.
§ Mr. John Robertson (Paisley)
My hon. Friend has pointed out that the Labour Party have been doing a considerable amount for Scotland. Before he finishes, however, will he not express some of the still continuing anxieties that some of us have? We would not wish the picture to go out that we are absolutely pleased with everything that has been done.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. John Robertson) must not encourage the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) to lengthen his speech. I would again remind the hon. Member for Fife, West that this is a short debate.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I was about to come to the point that my hon. Friend has raised. I have painted the picture as I see it. I have given facts and figures which are irrefutable, if I may use a word which was used in another context by the hon. Member for Worcestershire. South I Sir G. Nabarro). But the figures and facts that I have given are irrefutable. There are certain problems—I have never denied them. There are certain hardships that people are facing in what is an industrial revolution that is taking place in Scotland at the moment.
There have been—there are at the moment—contractions in the male employing industries like the coalmining industry. I have given the figures for Fife. My hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) has the figures for Scotland as a whole. The contraction in farming, the contraction in the railway industry, and the contraction in shipbuilding have all probably reached their climax. My hon. Friend will remember the Scottish Council spokesman coming to us—I think it was last November—and making the very point that the speed of contractions is probably now slowing and that the build-up of the new industries that I have mentioned is accelerating.
§ Miss Harvie Anderson (Renfrew, East)
As the hon. Gentleman has mentioned the contraction in shipbuilding, which is the most pertinent industry in all Scotland today, will he urge his right hon. Friends to make a decision in relation to the Upper Clyde Shipyard upon whose jobs 45,000 men's lives depend and which may go into liquidation next week because there is not enough working capital to pay the wages?
§ Mr. Hamilton
The hon. Lady belongs to a party that is constantly urging us to reduce public expenditure. The hon. Member for South Angus said that he does not believe in planning or in Government intervention. He does not believe that the Government should interfere at all. The hon. Lady and her hon. Friend must sort this out between them. If she now wants to go on record as saying, "We want the Government to intervene on the Upper Clyde. We want the Government to inject another few million £s of public money to bale out the private enterprise shipbuilders", she is entitled to do so.
1686 The Clyde shipbuilding industry has never been more prosperous in the last 20 years than it has been under this Government. We have intervened and injected public money. We saved Fair-fields, which would have gone bankrupt. Jobs would have been in jeopardy. If it had not been for the Labour Government, Fairfields would have gone out altogether. Someone who accepts the doctrine of Government intervention and the injection of public money cannot complain about increased public expenditure. I trust that the Government will save the Upper Clyde. I think that they will, but I hope that when they do and when they inject new capital the hon. Lady and the hon. Member for South Angus will not then criticise the Government for increasing public expenditure.
§ Mr. Roy Roebuck (Harrow, East)
Can my hon. Friend assure me that the taxpayers in my constituency will get some return from this money which is being pumped into the Upper Clyde? Would it not be better to pump it in in such a way that the taxpayers had some share in the industry?
§ Mr. Hamilton
That is a point which my hon. Friend can press on the Government. Indeed, we will all be pressing it. When public money is invested, we should ensure that there is a return to the public. There will be a social and economic return. It will be more economically and socially desirable to employ more men producing ships than to have them on the dole. From every point of view this is desirable. That is part of the return that the nation will get.
There is much more that I could say, but in deference to your wishes, Mr. Speaker, I will now draw my remarks to a conclusion. I hope I have made the point that we have nothing, or very little, to apologise for as to what is happening in Scotland. It is not a prospect of a country in the depths of despair and misery and poverty. On the contrary, it has a great future ahead of it, due largely to the activities of the present Government since October, 1964. [Laughter.] If the hon. Gentleman who now guffaws but who has not been here from the beginning of the debate looks at the figures I have given, in whatever field—whether it be housing, hospital building, 1687 roads, the employment situation, the provision of new factories, electronics and communications, in which he is very interested—he will see a wonderful record of achievement. We have not heard the last of it yet. I hope that hon. Members opposite will he successful in future in the Ballot for Private Members' Motions and, if they are, will decide to talk about the Scottish economy, because it gives us a wonderful chance to tell the truth, to which they are complete strangers.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn)
I shall be reverting to the question of truth later, during my speech. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We have had a long speech from one side. We must be fair and listen to the other side.
§ Mr. Campbell
I shall take up the remarks made by the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), but I am very sorry that it should not have been possible for many other hon. and right hon. Members on both sides of the House to take part in this debate. I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his stamina, but I think it disgraceful that private Members' time should have been taken up with a speech of that length.
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) on his success in the Ballot and on having enabled a debate to take place in so far as the hon. Member for Fife, West did not convert it into a monologue. It enables us to cover a wide range of the Government's actions and not just those within one Ministry.
The high rates of taxation and the severe squeeze have been felt all over Britain, but there has been a very heavy impact in Scotland, and some elements of the Government's measures fall very heavily on certain areas of Scotland. There is, of course, the Selective Employment Tax, which I and my hon. Friends have opposed ever since it was first announced—almost three years ago to the day.
Changes were made by the Government after sustained pressure from this side of the House, but they came too late, whether they were for the tourist industry, the disabled or part-time 1688 workers, or the removal of the premiums from the non-development areas—changes for which we had pressed and which were made, much too late, by the Government.
All of those changes were admissions that there were defects in the original tax. They do not remove anomalies. Many of them create more. Of course, the most worrying result of the Government's policies over the past four years, as my hon. Friend pointed out, is the net loss of 35,000 jobs in Scotland during that period. It is startling when compared, as the hon. Member for Fife, West pointed out, with the 30,000 jobs net which were gained during the previous four years. The Government should not be surprised, however, since many of their actions were bound to reduce the number of jobs in Scotland.
The first and foremost of these is S.E.T. The Chancellor of the Exchequer at that time made it clear that the tax was intended to reduce labour in service industries. There is no doubt it has done this. Its effects, inevitably, are worse in the areas where service industries predominate. I hope that the Minister will listen carefully to what I am saying. The parts of Scotland where manufacturing industry is concentrated do not, as a whole, suffer as badly as others; but to the Highlands and Islands where only about one-tenth of the jobs are in manufacturing, this obnoxious tax is more painful than anywhere else in the country. It is also reducing jobs and causing problems in other rural or remoter areas.
The Minister of State has said in the House in the past that he and the Secretary of State consider S.E.T. good for Scotland. This really stretches the imagination. It is bad for Scotland because it is bad for those important regions of Scotland. To have committed the folly of increasing S.E.T. in two consecutive years is already regarded by many people in Scotland as final confirmation that the Government are either the victims of their own economic mismanagement or are indifferent to the problems of these areas.
It is the smaller firms in Scotland which especially are suffering from the blows delivered by this Government, particularly if they are not in manufacturing 1689 industry. Many of them are reeling from the effects of other measures as well as S.E.T., for example, the increased transport costs arising from last year's Budget, to be increased again this year; the tight credit squeeze; and Bank Rates remaining, as they have, at the highest levels for a longer period at a time since the end of the 17th century.
Arising from the latest Budget smaller firms can soon expect to be told that their National Insurance contributions for their employees are to be raised [An HON. MEMBER: "What are they?"] Does the Secretary of State recognise that most of these measures fall more heavily on firms in, say, Inverness or Wick than upon their counterparts in the areas of large cities or conurbations?
I do not believe that these hammer blows at Scotland have been aimed. I am prepared to accept that they were not deliberately thought out by the Secretary of State, although they were deliberately applied by other Ministers. My accusation against the Government is that Scotland has suffered because their actions have been ham-handed irresponsible and incompetent.
On the figure for the net loss of jobs in the past four years-35,000—when I asked the Secretary of State in the House about this the other day he replied that anybody can choose periods of time to suit them. I did not choose that period. It was the period which was set down in the Secretary of State's own White Paper. He selected the period 1960–64, I do not know why. It is set out there in comparison with the Government's own target for the six years 1964–70.
The hon. Member for Fife, West spoke of comparing like with like. I concede that there is a point here, because it is comparing the last four years of Conservative government with the last years of this Labour Government. [An HON. MEMBER: "A fag-end Government."] But the point of vital importance, shown on page 9 of the White Paper dealing with the question of jobs, is that the Government's target for the six years was a net gain in jobs of 60,000; and the majority of these were to be in the service industries. For nearly 4½ years there has been a 35,000 net loss instead of the 45,000 net gain which there should have been by now if the target was still 1690 in sight. I recognise that jobs are partly disappearing from the older industries that are getting smaller, but the Government must take responsibility for the deliberate application of S.E.T. to the service industries which has reduced the number of jobs there.
Why, for example, do the Government pick out the construction industry for penalising? It is an industry which is needed for almost all progress in industrial development and for improving communications in Scotland. I am led to ask: do the Government really know what they are doing, or what they have done? The Minister of State, in a party political television broadcast on 9th April, about three weeks ago, made an astonishing statement on supposed facts in the past. I have the transcript with me.
The hon. Gentleman will remember that he was speaking with a map. He said:If you took a flag for each new firm the British Government has brought into Scotland in the last four years, the map of Scotland would look something like this. And each of these firms, of course, tells its own story. Some are small firms, I quite agree, but some are very large firms like Honeywells, Rolls-Royce, Burroughs and all these, bringing large numbers of jobs to Scotland. Rootes springs to my own mind, in Renfrewshire.'That was the passage, but there were some people, like me, who immediately knew that those four firms had been in Scotland for many years. But here was the Minister saying there was a flag for every new firm that the Government had brought into Scotland during the last four years, that each flag told its own story; some were small and some were large, like Rolls-Royce, Burroughs and Rootes.
I put down a Question or two just to see how the Government would respond. The answer to my first Questions avoided giving the dates, but the second lot of Questions I put down, concerning Messrs. Rootes and Honeywells, received this Answer:The Scottish Office have assisted in the provision of infrastructure in support of the initial projects and subsequent expansions by Rootes and Honeywell at Linwood and in North Lanarkshire since they first moved into Scotland in 1961 and 1948 respectively."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st April, 1969; Vol. 782, c. 33.]I can add that Rolls-Royce moved into Scotland first in 1940 and Burroughs in 1948.
1691 This was not a broadcast in which the Prime Minister took part, in which we could have expected something like that, and I hope that the Minister will give an explanation this evening. We are used to hearing spurious arguments from him here and in the Scottish Committees, and we know his synthetic outbursts of impatience from time to time, but we had not expected him to fall so short of simple accuracy. If the Minister can accept a script which so blatently and deliberately intended to mislead millions of the public, how can we or anyone outside the House believe anything right hon. and hon. Members opposite say on television or elsewhere? As a result, few who heard or will hear reported what the hon. Member for Fife, West said today will believe anything in his speech. Perhaps he will be used on the next political broadcast. For 4½ years the Government have completely discredited themselves by their actions. Now they have completely discredited themselves by their statements on simple facts.
The hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) raised a point about coal and electricity. I am one of the first to accept that he is an expert on the coal industry, but I think that he was misleading when he came on to electricity and suggested that the Conservative Government, by introducing the Hunterston nuclear power station, had caused a large number of miners to lose their jobs. I remind him that it was a Conservative Administration; in the 1960s, which decided upon the Cockenzie and Longannet coal-powered stations using very special coal and new technologies, which it was calculated at the time would preserve the jobs of about 15,000 miners.
§ Mr. Eadie
I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way. He is always most courteous. I do not think that he would wish to be inaccurate. The point I was trying to make was that it was a Conservative Government which introduced the Magnox system of nuclear power stations, which subsequently proved to be most uneconomic. If they had been fired by coal they would have been much cheaper, and thousands of miners in Scotland would have retained their jobs.
§ Mr. Campbell
It will always be a matter of judgment how much electricity 1692 production should be by coal and how much should be nuclear. These decisions preserved large numbers of jobs, using a new technology and special coal, but it would have been a mistake not to go in for nuclear power as well.
As the hon. Gentleman will discover if he looks into the electricity side, the nuclear power stations can supply part of the generation on a continuous basis, which is a helpful part of the electricity system when one has to cope with peak periods or continuing electrical supply during the night. There was a period in 1964 when all the electricity in Scotland during the night in the summer was coming from nuclear generators alone, because that was the most efficient way of doing it; they are efficient when run continuously.
I remind the Government that the Conservative Government were pioneers of regional development; my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, when President of the Board of Trade, pioneered in this. I hope that hon. Members will note that regional development will always be one of the subjects of most concern to me in the House, as it has been in the past.
One method which was proving its success before the present Government stopped it was free depreciation. For the first time, a Government had agreed to regional discrimination in taxation allowances. I do not think that it was widely enough realised what a significant step this was. That method, or variations of it, appears to me to be more effective than some of the methods the Government are now using.
The real point is: what are the methods which are likely to be most effective? What we want is more jobs for the money expended. For the money being expended now I believe that twice as many jobs should be possible. The regional employment premium was produced by the Government as an experiment. It was introduced in a Green Paper, and is due to end in September, 1974. The Government had originally intended it to end in 1972. It is important that we look for the best possible replacement for that.
One question naturally being asked is whether the system of investment grants, the system which the Government have 1693 introduced in a much more limited field of manufacturing equipment, is more effective than the previous system of investment allowances. There are many who believe that it is not, and that is a conclusion which I have reached. Are there better methods, or combinations of methods, which will be even more effective? That is the sort of question to which I would hope all Scottish Members will address their minds.
I would just like to read the conclusion of the first leading article in The Guardian of 25th April—[An HON. MEMBER: "What about the time?"] The Minister must blame his hon. Friend. I shall leave the hon. Gentleman plenty of time. I raised a matter of truth with him to reply to. I am coming to my conclusion. The Guardian leading article said:By the early 1970s the effects of Regional Employment Premium will be clear and the Special Development Area measures will have done their job. Now is the time to start monitoring their effects and to begin devising national and regional development strategies properly based on identified zones of growth.There are differences between the two sides of the House about methods. I think that these differences are partly matters of judgment but also partly matters of doctrine. I believe that all Scottish Members on both sides should support the methods which are most likely to be effective and those which are proved to be most effective. That is what I and my right hon. and hon. Friends are concerned about.
§ 6.48 p.m.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Dr. J. Dickson Mabon)
I realise how fortunate I am to be allowed to reply to the charges which have been made from the Opposition benches, and particularly to try to take up the threads of the debate as far as I can and contrast the speeches we have heard.
The hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. Gordon Campbell) said that there are differences between both sides on the question of regional policy. I would like him carefully to contrast his speech with that of his hon. Friend the Member for South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne), and he will see that the differences between him and his hon. Friend are quite substantial. His hon. Friend expressed some remarkably honest views on regional 1694 policy. Whether or not one agrees, one must admire his courage in being willing to state them, because it could be argued that some of their effects would be adverse to his constituency. It therefore behoves us to look very closely at what he said.
Unfortunately, because of the nature of the debate—and I have no control over this matter, any more than the hon. Gentleman has—I cannot spend as much time as I would have liked in acknowledging some of the essential points made by the hon. Member for South Angus. I commend him again for making some constructive suggestions, as he saw the matter, on how we should deal with investment to attract jobs to Scotland.
The hon. Gentleman said that we should reward profitability and should not subsidise loss-making. I wondered at how that contrasted with the question put to us about the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. If the hon. Gentleman says that we should not subsidise loss-making, does he mean in the short term or the long term? If he means the long term, how long is the short term to be? We know how strongly hon. Members opposite criticised various parts of the Shipbuilding Industry Act and various subventions to the industry. It is an interesting commentary, not on the divisions between the two parties but within the Conservative Party itself.
We were glad that there was a last-minute change of heart in the Conservative Government in 1962 towards regionalism, but we are worried by what is being said within the Confederation of British Industry by hon. Members, like the hon. Member for South Angus and others, who feel that another way of dealing with this should be adopted—and that is a way which makes many of us feel that we would be going back to the bad years of the Tory Government, from 1951 to 1959, when the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) held my office.
I want to get the record straight. A large number of firms in Scotland are expanding. I will not give a long list, but there are firms at Coatbridge, Perth—before 1964 Perth would not have benefited—Uddingston, Linlithgow, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cumbernauld, among others, and I hope that there will be a 1695 substantial announcement tomorrow concerning a project in Scotstoun, where 4,500 people are employed and where there will be 900 new jobs, many of them for males.
To all that must be added the substantial expansions which have taken place in large companies, which I mentioned on television and which have been in Scotland for some time, including Rolls-Royce—in Scotland since 1938—and Honeywell's and Boroughs, both of which were brought by the Labour Government in the late 1940s. The hon. Member for Moray and Nairn did not like to acknowledge that fact. Rootes arrived in 1960, but entered a sticky time and would not have been expanded had it not been for the arrangements, which the Conservative Party opposed, of the Industrial Expansion Act and the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation's facilities. Without the Act and the I.R.C., Rootes would not be adding this year about 2,000 additional jobs. It is fair and proper for us to claim that our policies have caused or helped to cause these expansions.
The Conservative Party publicly opposed our policies and would have prevented such expansions from taking place.
§ Dr. Mabon
I regret that I cannot give way to the hon. Lady because I have been deliberately held back in trying to reply properly to the debate.
The hon. Member for Moray and Nairn hammers me, rightly, on many occasions. He has now attacked my television broadcast. I make it clear that I wrote the script. That is unlike the practice of the hon. Gentleman in relation to his scripts. I referred to expansions including some for which we were not solely responsible. It is my responsibility and I accept it. Nevertheless, if the hon. Gentleman cares to check the facts, he will find to his cost that the larger part of the infrastructure money for expansion was borne by the present Government.
Reference has been made to the Post Office Savings Bank. Here I give credit 1696 to the right hon. Member for Argyll (Mr. Noble) who, during his last few months in office, was, with an election hanging over him able to bring a forceful argument to his Cabinet colleagues so that they agreed in principle that the Bank should go to Glasgow. But, in practice, he did not get it there. The late Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir Peter Meldrum, had to work hard to persuade the staff of the Bank to go to Glasgow, and without their co-operation the transfer would not have been achieved. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State himself deserves credit for the way in which he co-operated with Sir Peter to achieve the transfer.
A continuing development has been going on in Scotland since the early 1960s which has been enhanced by this Government and which would be in danger if we listened to the hon. Member for South Angus. His policy, if applied, would do incredible damage to the Scottish economy. The Scottish economy of the 1930s was in a terrible condition because of the decline of the older industries and the lack of new ones being built up to take their place. The Opposition have no record of credit to them for what they did in the late 1930s, with one or two notable exceptions.
The war delayed changes and the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn grudgingly admitted, in a sentence we will remind him of constantly, that the then Government did not have control over the industries that were contracting, for reasons which the hon. Member for South Angus would rightly admit were inevitable—technological change, better business management, and so on.
When the hon. Member for South Angus talks about the Selective Employment Tax and about the construction industry in Scotland being crippled and its working force reduced, I would urge him to look at the figures. Between mid-June, 1966, and mid-June, 1968, the construction industry in Scotland, building a record number of houses, roads, schools, hospitals and industrial developments, decreased its labour force by one-tenth of 1 per cent. In terms of sheer efficiency surely any businessman would welcome the fact that he is able to take on a larger order book and carry it out with a force which is not bigger but slightly, albeit marginally, less.
1697 Over the seven years from 1945 to 1951, a total of 77 manufacturing firms came to Scotland. During the years of neglect which the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire was partly responsible for, the figure dropped to 50. This was in the eight-year period from the accession of the Tories to power in 1951 to 1959. It was a period of what the Americans would call "free-wheeling". I suspect that the hon. Member for South Angus would like to see such a period again.
Faced with frightening figures of unemployment, we saw the Conservative Government begin to change their mind and adopt or revive Labour Party policies by instituting industrial development certificates and genuinely trying to bring industries north of the Border. That is why the motor car years are the best years in their calendar, but they are the only two years of any substance in it. One must measure that against all the incentives brought in since then for all the areas covered in Scotland by development area status.
I am obliged to my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) for pointing out the humbug of the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn. Everywhere the hon. Gentleman goes in Scotland is a development area, a growth point. He has never had the guts to give us a list of the areas in Scotland which are at present development areas but which, under his regime and that advocated by the hon. Member for South Angus, would no longer be development areas. The reason is simple. For electoral purposes, the hon. Member
§ has not the ability to stand up and be counted on this issue.
§ Dr. Mabon
I am sorry, but I must get on. The hon. Gentleman would not give way to me when I was anxious to intervene.
If the hon. Gentleman is to be believed and accepted as a worthwhile spokesman of his party, he must be willing to tell us which areas he would deschedule. There are many areas in Scotland which he might deschedule. Tayside is perhaps the best example because there are good statistical arguments for saying that it is marginally a less desirable area for being a development area than others. I am not saying that I accept the arguments, but I have heard them and I would not surrender to them or be seduced by them.
The hon. Gentleman must make up his mind. Either he would include Edinburgh and Portobello and make the whole of Scotland a development area or he must name those areas which should not be development areas.
Between 1964 and 1968, Scotland has gained 119,000 jobs and our target was to try and gain 130,000 by the end of 1970—
§ Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.
§ Question put accordingly:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 98, Noes 130.1699
|Division No. 185.]||AYES||[7.0 p.m.|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Dance, James||Holland, Philip|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Dean, Paul||Hordern, Peter|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Hornby, Richard|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Doughty, Charles||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Emery, Peter||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Bessell, Peter||Eyre, Reginald||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Foster, Sir John||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Glover, Sir Douglas||Kitson, Timothy|
|Body, Richard||Goodhart, Philip||Lambton, Viscount|
|Braine, Bernard||Goodhew, Victor||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Grant, Anthony||Lubbock, Eric|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt. -Col. Sir Walter||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||McNair-Wilson, M. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Maginnis, John E.|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Burden, F. A.||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Monro, Hector|
|Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)||Hawkins, Paul||More, Jasper|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Clark, Henry||Higgins, Terence L.||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Clegg, Walter||Hirst, Geoffrey||Nott, John|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Onslow, Cranley|
|Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian||Royle, Anthony||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Osborn, John (Hallam)||Scott, Nicholas||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Scott-Hopkins, James||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Page, Graham (Grosby)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Whitetaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Smith, John (London & W'minster)||Wiggin, A. W.|
|Peel, John||Speed, Keith||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Peyton, John||Steel, David (Roxburgh)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Summers, Sir Spencer||Wright, Esmond|
|Prior, J. M. L.||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Pym, Francis||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.||Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison and|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Waddington, David||Mr. George Younger.|
|Anderson, Donald||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip|
|Archer, Peter||Haseldine, Norman||Norwood, Christopher|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Hooley, Frank||O'Malley, Brian|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Orbach, Maurice|
|Barnes, Michael||Howie, W.||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Huckfield, Leslie||Palmer, Arthur|
|Binns, John||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Brooks, Edwin||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Hunter, Adam||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hynd, John||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Carmichael, Neil||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Pentland, Norman|
|Chapman, Donald||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Coe, Denis||Kelley, Richard||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Kenyon, Clifford||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Rankin, John|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Richard, Ivor|
|Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Lawson, George||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dell, Edmund||Lee, John (Reading)||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St. P'c'as)|
|Dewar, Donald||Lestor, Miss Joan||Roebuck, Roy|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Lipton, Marcus||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Dickens, James||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Dobson, Ray||McBride, Neil||Rowlands, E.|
|Driberg, Tom||McCann, John||Sheldon, Robert|
|Dunn, James A.||MacColl, James||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Macdonald, A. H.||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Eadie, Alex||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Slater, Joseph|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Mackie, John||Small, William|
|Ellis, John||Mackintosh, John P.||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Ennals, David||Maclennan, Robert||Tinn, James|
|Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Urwin, T. W.|
|Fernyhough, E.||MacPherson, Malcolm||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Manuel, Archie||Wallace, George|
|Freeson, Reginald||Marquand, David||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Gardner, Tony||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Weitzman, David|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mendelson, John||Whitaker, Ben|
|Gregory, Arnold||Millan, Bruce||Whitlock, William|
|Grey, Charles (Durham)||Molloy, William||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Murray, Albert||Mr. Alan Fitch and|
|Hamling, William||Newens, Stan||Dr. M. S. Miller.|
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
On a point or Order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you can possibly help me? The debate which has just ended was, by the hazards of events, inevitably curtailed to a period of 140 minutes. Out of that 140 minutes of private Members' time, 85 minutes were taken up by an hon. Gentleman on the back benches opposite. I submit that he thereby very largely disrupted the debate. Is there any way in which the House can be assisted in such matters?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Gentleman ought to know that there is 1700 no way in which I can assist the House in this problem beyond asking the Members to speak briefly. A Select Committee recommended to the House that in certain debates Mr. Speaker might be given the power to point out that many Members wanted to speak, and have the power to limit speeches to a certain length of time. That was turned down by the House. I am a servant of the House, not its master.
§ Mr. Michael Noble (Argyll)
Further to that point of order. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that you made a particular request to the House asking hon. 1701 Members to be short in their speeches so that more hon. Members could be called. Your request was entirely flouted by the hon. Gentleman who spoke, quite deliberately, aided by several of his hon. Friends. I think that you, Mr. Speaker, and the House should express displeasure at this treatment of the House.
§ Mr. Speaker
If the right hon. Gentleman has read HANSARD he will know that Mr. Speaker from time to time appeals for reasonably brief speeches, but that not invariably is his appeal listened to.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
Further to that point of order. I had on the Order Paper an Amendment which was not called. That, of course, was within the rights of the Chair, but I would respectfully submit that in common fairness, having put down an Amendment, I should at least have been called.
§ Mr. Speaker
I do not propose to have any further inquest on the debate which has just been concluded. If the hon. and learned Member reads the OFFICIAL REPORT of the debate he will see how impossible it was for him and other hon. Members to get into it.