HC Deb 04 August 1971 vol 822 cc1574-5
29. Mr. MacArthur

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what further plans he has for presenting the attractions of Scotland to industrialists in the Continent of Europe.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Detailed plans for this purpose are being got ready by the Committee under Lord Taylor of Gryffe which has been established by arrangement with the Scottish Council (Development and Industry).

In view of the specially serious employment situation in Scotland and the pressing need for industrial investment, my right hon. Friend has authorised an increase in the grant already provided for carrying out the plans to £70,000 in 1971–72 and to £100,000 in each of the two succeeding years.

Mr. MacArthur

Is my hon. Friend aware that this is splendid news? I congratulate him and his right hon. Friend on this welcome new initiative.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am grateful to to my hon. Friend. This is a very considerable increase in the amount of money available and shows the great importance we attach to advertising outside Scotland the attractions which Scotland holds for industry and investment.

Mr. Maclennan

In order to put the matter into perspective, is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Highlands and Islands Development Board itself planned to spend £98,000 on one project of promotion this autumn but that he and his Government have stopped the Board from doing that? Is he aware that the only traffic there will be between Scotland and Europe will be that of the unemployed in search of jobs elsewhere?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am sorry that, as usual, the hon. Member is so carping when financial help is given to this very important task of advertising Scotland elsewhere. If the hon. Gentleman and some of his hon. Friend's would only be constructive in letting people abroad, outside Scotland, know how much Scotland had to offer, instead of crying it down, then indeed we could look to a much happier future for Scotland.