HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 cc373-4
17. Mr. Sillars

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is now taking to relieve unemployment in Scotland this winter.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

In addition to the increased measures of assistance under the Local Employment Acts which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 27th October I have decided, as I indicated in reply to the hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. Douglas) on 28th October, to accelerate over £1½ million of essential works for which I am responsible.—[Vol. 805, c. 150.]

Mr. Sillars

Would the Secretary of State for Scotland accept that most people in Scotland believe that that amount of aid is inadequate to meet the unemployment problem this winter? Would he also accept that employment levels ultimately reflect upon migration levels? Would he now take the opportunity of apologising to my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) for that puerile statement seeking to give to the Conservatives credit for the Labour Government's policies which reduced migration from Scotland over the last few years?

Mr. Campbell

I know of no such puerile statement and I know of nothing to withdraw, but this accelerated works programme for this winter is for Scotland only and we intend that it shall be effective in providing employment immediately during this winter.

Mr. Ross

Would the right hon. Gentleman give a very quick answer to this? The advanced programme for local authorities—is it to be 100 per cent. grant?

Mr. Campbell

These matters are being discussed—

Mr. Ross


Mr. Campbell

—with the local authorities and I cannot at this stage, without notice, give the right hon. Gentleman the answer.

Mr. W. Baxter

Will the right hon. Gentleman give us a list of those projects which are to be put into operation and will he let me know whether any of them are in the County of Stirling?

Mr. Campbell

I will undertake to do that for the hon. Gentleman; but at least £1 million will be for the trunk road programme.