HC Deb 09 December 1971 vol 827 cc1487-8
13. Mr. James Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what he intends to do to assist the 350 workers who will become redundant at Ranco Motors Limited, Tannochside, Glasgow, to find alternative jobs.

Mr. Bryan

All the resources of my Department including a "job team", special canvassing for vacancies and opportunities for training will be made available, as appropriate, to help those becoming redundant to obtain alternative employment.

Mr. Hamilton

May I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply and may I also thank his local office, which is doing everything humanly possible? Is he aware that there has been a further closure in my constituency and that 130 jobs will fall by the wayside? Is he further aware that there is serious contraction in the North Lanarkshire steel industry? On that basis, can he tell us whether he is having consultations with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to bring jobs to this part of the world where they are so urgently needed?

Mr. Bryan

I was not aware of this second firm which the hon. Gentleman mentioned, and I will certainly go into the particulars. With regard to the firm about which he asks, Ranco Motors Ltd., I understand that it manufactures small motors. I hope that the increase in the production of consumer durables, in which such motors would be used, will have a beneficial effect. It is to be hoped that the firm will also benefit from the cut in hire-purchase restrictions and purchase tax. As for demand in the steel industry in general, the extra expenditure that has been announced over the last few weeks will help the industry because steel is used for most public works undertakings.

Mr. Rose

In view of the widespread nature of the problem of large-scale redundancies, by no means confined to Glasgow, and the growing Press speculation about the Government's programme to emasculate Redundancy Payments Act, will the hon. Gentleman either give an unequivocal undertaking today that he has no intention of interfering with the operation of that Act or come clean about it and tell the House, with an immediate statement, what proposals he has in mind?

Mr. Bryan

I am tempted to satisfy the hon. Gentleman's question, but I am afraid that until our report comes out I cannot do so.