§ 2.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Dick Douglas (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
I welcome the opportunity to raise, for the first time in the House in recent times, the initiatives which the Government have been taking to attract foreign investment to Scotland, but I am extremely disappointed that the Under-Secretary of State for Development, Scottish Office, is not here to reply, because much of what I have to say will refer specifically to his responsibility and to the visits he has undertaken abroad, particularly to Germany. I do not see why the Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture. Scottish Office, should have to bear the brunt of my remarks.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture, Scottish Office (Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith)
I was delighted to have the opportunity to answer the debate.
§ Mr. Douglas
I will await the hon. Gentleman's answer before I congratulate him on his delight.
I will deal first with the immediate short-term background to the initiatives 1551 which the Government have undertaken to stimulate investment generally and foreign investment in particular in Scotland. Much stress has to be laid on what is loosely called "infrastructure". It is as well to remember that in July, 1970, the Under-Secretary of State for Development conceded that a vast improvement had taken place in Scotland's infrastructure by the high and consistent levels of public expenditure of the previous 10 years, but particularly under the Labour Government. One might well remind the House of these very high figures, and I take one or two examples of capital expenditure to illusatrate my case.
Between 1964–65 and 1970–71 the expenditure on roads increased by 116 per cent.; the expenditure on housing, taking these two years one with another, increased by 48 per cent.; expenditure on education, excluding universities, increased by 64 per cent.; expenditure on health increased by 94 per cent.; and expenditure on investment grants was running at an annual rate of over £69 million in 1970–71. Total capital expenditure by the Departments, the local authorities and the nationalised industries, taking these years 1964–65 and 1970–71, had increased by 96 per cent. It was against this background of high public expenditure that the Under-Secretary of State for Development could comment in July, 1970 about the improvement which had been brought about in Scotland's infrastructure.
If one looks at what had been happening in the Scottish economy in the 1960s, particularly the mid-1960s, which had enabled us to attract considerable foreign direct investment, some degree of the success of the policy adopted by the Labour Government is shown by the fact that, despite the rapid and, some might think, too rapid run down of the old industries—during the 1960s there was a fall of 100,000 jobs in mining, shipbuilding, metal manufacturing, textiles, rail transport and distribution—there was a considerable improvement in the structure of the Scottish economy and the job total as a whole remained buoyant.
If we also look at one of the characteristics of the attractiveness of the economy, we can see that the number of unfilled vacancies in the years 1964 to 1970 averaged 12,300, and the average 1552 unemployment percentage over that period was 3.4 per cent. New industries were being created, many by direct foreign investment.
The 1967 survey by the Scottish Council, Development and Industry, noted that employment by Scottish-based North American firms had risen by 17 per cent. between 1964 and 1966, and that their investment had increased by 53 per cent. and their turnover by 50 per cent. It was estimated that North American firms accounted in this period for 24 per cent. of Scottish manufactured exports. These are not Government figures, but I think that the Government would accept that the survey was reasonably reliable.
Thus, when the present Government took office, they were confronted with a Scottish economy which had been considerably refurbished. A new industrial prospect was before the Scottish people, and it was freely admitted by the Under-Secretary of State for Development that this enabled the Government in 1970 to set about attracting foreign investment to the Scottish economy.
Between 22nd November and 1st December, 1970, the Scottish Industrial Promotiton Reconnaissance Mission—that is a lofty-sounding title—went to Germany. The purpose, we were told, was to assess the prospects for attracting West German industrial investment to Scotland and to suggest how best industrial promotion for Scotland in Germany could be carried out. We were further advised in the report that attention was focussed on West Germany, following the visit there in September by the Under-Secretary of State for Development. I wish the Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture to give some indication why the Under-Secretary of State for Development at that time pointed his very eminent and able officials in the direction of West Germany. Maybe they were mystified by the German figures for the increase in direct investment abroad which had gone up at a compound rate of about 20 per cent.
At no point before or after that date have the Government analysed the nature of such direct investment. They have never stopped to consider what direct investment might mean to an economy such as that of Scotland. What are the advantages of those embarking on direct investment? Broadly speaking, direct 1553 investment by a foreign company is a symbol that the company feels that it has a quasi-monopoly advantage which can offset the disadvantage of playing away from home. What advantages do the Government see in German firms making direct investment in Scotland? I hope that the Minister will give us a reply.
The "German invasion" in the terms which the Government seem to have expected is unlikely to take place in Scot- land, but such an "invasion" has taken place in the United States. It is a reflection of the strength of the Deutschemark. German investment in the United States rose by more than six times in the years 1960–69 and nearly doubled in the period 1967–69. If the Government were really concerned about attracting a nation looking for markets in Europe and if they were really looking for direct investment for direct investment purposes only, they might point themselves in the direction of Japan.
Let us look at some of the points in the December, 1970, report. One was that of poor industrial relations in Scot- land. The report says that the Germans had expressed fears about being involved in a country with poor industrial relations. This was echoed in a speech by the noble Lord, Lord Taylor of Gryfe, in another place on 24th November when he said:… I sincerely believe that in any attempts to attract investment to Scotland one of the major disincentives is the bad reputation we have in this field.The noble Lord really dealt with than point himself. He had accompanied the Minister responsible for the report on the visit to West Germany, and he said that included in the party was an American industrialist who came to Scotland 20 years ago and who operated a very large and expanding factory in Lanarkshire. The noble Lord said:Not only does that man, having come to Scotland, run a very profitable unit for his American company, but he has had only five days of strike in twenty years.If Scots can convince people that they are operating in an expanding industry and that proper attention is paid to the needs and constraints of modern industry, then the scars of bad industrial relations will become as unreal as they are unwelcome.
1554 The Under-Secretary of State for Development said, a year after the original mission:We have accomplished stage one of our objective. The longest stage and the follow-up of the opening we have made will begin right away.The first stage was a long time in getting off the ground. What was involved in that stage? Let us see what happened to the Scottish economy in between the two visits. Was Scotland made more attractive to foreign investors? The key date is 27th October, 1970, when the Government abolished investment grants. Page 4 of the 1970 report says:Although the financial and tax incentives offered by Her Majesty's Government to firms investing and creating new employment in development areas are of interest to those we met the incentives are not regarded, at least in the present form, as of paramount importance …Has there been any change of view since then? I quote again from the debate in the Lords, from the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Polworth, who said:On the question of grants versus tax allowances I have had my doubts in the past but I am now convinced that in the end it is cash that talks. Liquidity has been the biggest problem of most developing companies, and cash, whether in the form of investment grants or regional employment premiums, is much the most effective encouragement. I believe that we should revert to the system of investment grants."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 24th November, 1971; Vol 325, c. 1007–53.]Moving from investment grants to tax-based allowances has not made the Scottish economy more attractive. This was reinforced by Lord Clydesmuir. current Chairman of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, who said, dealing with the suggestion of free depreciation for capital equipment:We have coupled this proposal with others including the reintroduction of a system of grants.There seems to be no case from the point of view of domestic industrialists for a system of taxed-based allowances.
Let us look at the employment situation between the two reports. In December, 1970, the Scottish registered unemployed numbered 103,500. In December, 1971, they had increased to 141,100, an increase of 37 per cent. No wonder the Minister on his return from Germany could say, "There is a shortage of skilled labour and we were able to tell them that 1555 it was readily available in Scotland." We had 141,000 people. If he had been really adventurous lie might have hired Hampden Park and invited all the unemployed and a few German industrialists and said, "Look, we have a capacity crowd of unemployed. We have the labour you do not have in Germany. This is the result of 18 months of Tory Government." If he waits until February he will have about 20,000 to 30,000 outside the gates of Hampden Park as well. Scottish unfilled vacancies averaged 12,300 over a seven-year period. At present there are just over 8,000 unfilled vacancies; there are 17 people chasing every available job in Scotland. That is a noble accomplishment.
What are we aiming at in terms of direct investment? How would German or other industrialists hope to finance capital development in Scotland or the United Kingdom? They have expressed some concern about the restrictions on raising finance in Scotland. Have the Government removed these restrictions? If German industrialists are to spend abroad, would they not use the Eurobond?
What bemuses me in this operation is trying to understand what particular skills are lacking in Scotland which mean that we have to go to German industrialists asking for help. The Under-Secretary said on his return that the Germans were interested in North Sea oil and in deep-water facilities on the Clyde. What is wrong with Scottish industrialists that they cannot exploit these potentialities if they are given the correct lead by the Government?
One of the things hindering the massive possibilities of North Sea oil is the denial of investment grants because the equipment involved is capital intensive, the profit flow is not immediate and there is a liquidity problem which can be rectified only by the Government moving away from their doctrinaire approach and introducing investment grants. In terms of deep-water facilities, are the Government sitting back and saying to German and other industrialists, "Hunterston provides"—as the Secretary of State likes to tell us—" unique geographical advantages. Come and exploit them. We cannot give the right en- 1556 couragement or find Scottish industrialists to do this"?
Scottish workers are having a sit-in or work-in at the Plessey factory in Alexandria, which has not only workers available but extensive plant and equipment. Are the Government waiting to say to a German industrialist, "You exploit the situation. There are no Scottish industrialists willing to do so."?
Turning to the situation on the Upper Clyde, I regret, as I am sure everyone regrets, the tragic death of Hugh Stenhouse. It was a sad blow. The Government of businessmen have been incapable of finding a chairman for the company. The yard at Clydebank is, we suppose, waiting for an American industrial concern to build liquefied natural gas carriers—very costly ships. We are waiting to see whether the negotiations can be concluded. I hope they are. Are not United Kingdom companies willing to do this? Are the Government concerned only with trying to attract direct investment from abroad? Are they not capable of stimulating Scottish concerns?
The tragedy of the Scottish economy over the past 18 months is reflected in the belief that only if we have a regional policy which reflates the United Kingdom economy will Scotland achieve growth. That is the psychology. Regional policy is not a priority. What are the prospects for the next year or so? The Government have continuously said, "We have done all we can to stimulate investment. When we get investment going in the rest of the United Kingdom economy, investment will result in Scotland."
The current figures for investment in manufacturing industry do not offer any prospects of cheer to the workers of Scotland in this season of goodwill to all men. Investment in manufacturing industry for the fourth quarter of 1971 is estimated at £379 million at 1963 prices. In the three quarters of 1971, investment was 5 per cent. lower than in the corresponding quarters of 1970. No doubt we shall be told that we must await expansion of the United Kingdom economy. There are no signs of it except in the consumer industries. Lord Clydesmuir indicated that consumer-based booms will be of little help to the Scottish economy in the near future. If 1557 the prospects for the Scottish economy are to be brighter, they will not be based in the short or medium term on direct investment from incoming foreign firms; they must be based on existing industry. What are the Government doing to ensure that existing industry gets the necessary scope for development in Scotland in 1972?
I welcome this opportunity of probing the Government's thinking about promotional visits to Europe and, in particular, to West Germany. I should like the Minister to tell us that firms are showing intentions of coming to Scotland and what they are likely to do which indigenous Scottish industries cannot do. I should like him to state the number of people they are likely to employ and where they will raise their capital. Will they raise capital on the Scottish or English capital market which Scottish firms and industrialists could raise themselves?
§ 2.25 p.m.
§ Dr. J. Dickson Mabon (Greenock)
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Douglas) on choosing this subject for debate and on putting his case very constructively. Unfortunately, from time to time we tend to get involved in party battles which are rather sterile, but my hon. Friend's criticisms today have been put in a proper context and have struck a very good and constructive note which I hope the Minister will adopt, as I shall try to do.
There are three charges to be made against the Government on this subject—and I choose my words carefully. First, they do not appear to be fully convinced of the importance of foreign investment in Scotland. Secondly, even if that charge is wrong, they are certainly guilty of dragging their feet very badly on the subject. Thirdly, they show a very poor example to foreign investors by hesitating over the question of investment, which is urgent, in sectors which they proclaim to be essential to the Scottish economy.
Let me try to justify making those three charges. First, on the credit side, the Government have pursued the policies which we were pursuing when in office. I had the privilege, as Minister of State. of taking the E.E.C. Commissioner in charge of regional policies round Scotland in October, 1969. We did not simply 1558 wish to advise the E.E.C. about the kind of regional policies which should be pursued in Europe: we wished to learn from them, and we hoped that, as a result of talks with the Commissioner, the interest of West Germany in Scotland would increase.
When we were in office we agreed to attend the Bonn Conference in September, 1970, in order to discuss further regional incentives, not only in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, but throughout Europe. However, the electorate decided that the Ministers who kept that appointment should be Conservative and not Labour Ministers. It followed that we would tend to concern ourselves with West Germany, and that is what has happened. But that was not the intention. The intention was to bring about European investment. In Scotland we have had a substantial amount of American investment, and very welcome it has been. Goodness knows what Scotland would be like if the 50 or so scientific and electronic firms had not arrived and stayed in Scotland; the situation would have been dreadful. That sector of our industry is as prosperous as it is in the South-East of England.
We are naturally anxious to have additional foreign investment in Scotland. but not at the expense of home investment. We want home investment to move in parallel with foreign investment. The Government are slipping back in this respect, as is clear from what my hon. Friend the Member for East Stirlingshire said, and from the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Mr. John Smith), who deduced from the recent survey by the Cambridge economists that incentives in Scotland, instead of being worth £112, were down to £102.
§ Mr. William Hannan (Glasgow, Maryhill)
What about the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor)?
§ Dr. Mabon
I do not wish to refer to him because I want to rely on good witnesses.
Investment in Scotland is falling. The Government have deliberately discouraged Chevron Oil from setting up in Scotland. I saw the managing director of Chevron Oil the other day in Brussels. He confirmed to me that the North Sea 1559 finds and developments in Great Britain did not deter his company from being anxious to come to Scotland. It wanted to compete in the oil market. Since this would add more jobs—what did the Secretary of State say? Not very many: 2,000 on building and 200 permanently—we ought to encourage, and certainly do nothing to discourage, companies like that.
Even if there was a good reason for turning Chevron Oil down—which I do not believe—it hardly encourages the others, particularly the way it was done, with the company kept dangling in Scotland since 1960 and with an inquiry, which took a long time and was the longest such inquiry in Scottish history, turning the company down on what, in my view, were rather specious grounds which have since been shown to have been untrue.
We have been told, too, that Krupp have been told to come on a visit to Hunterston with a view to seeing whether the company could invest in a steel foundry and plant on that peninsula. The company has not yet done this, and I can understand that in view of the paths of developments in the West German economy, but would it not be a tragedy if such a development took place elsewhere? I cannot understand the Secretary of State's position. I can understand his position in relation to other Ministers and to his hopes being upset by them, but I cannot understand his position in not encouraging a B.A.C. intervention at Hunterston. I think that the promotion bodies have taken far too long to establish Scotland West. The mission to Germany was thought up in our time of Government and it has taken so far 18 months to complete the first phase of the overseas journeys.
I think it is quite fair to say that although the Government may have done reasonably well in terms of what they are doing in propagating these things overseas, they have done so only very slowly, not at all at the pace they should. My third and last point is that if the Government want to encourage investment they have to make that investment much more attractive, and they must understand the need for investment incentives, investment grants, the need to encourage investment in any other way, to make 1560 ventures into the Scottish economy attractive to foreign investors.
I ask the Government to justify their policy and to agree that they have not been very speedy in carrying it out, and I ask them to make a substantial announcement on incentives in the next few months.
§ 2.32 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Agriculture, Scottish Office (Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith)
I should like first of all to associate myself with the remarks of the hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) in tribute to the hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Douglas) on having the opportunity to open this debate and having chosen this very good subject for debate. It is one of very great concern not only to us in this House but to the whole of Scotland. We are, all of us, naturally anxious to take advantage of whatever opportunity presents itself to encourage investment.
Before dealing with more detailed subjects, I would say straight away that it is certainly my intention to deal with them—as far as I have time to deal with them—in a non-partisan spirit, because we have the economy of Scotland at heart and that is what is at issue. I shall deal with some of the perhaps more partisan remarks, but I want to deal constructively with these matters.
First I would apologise to the House on behalf of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Development. As I think hon. Members know, he has very long-standing engagements in Scotland today, in company with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, involving a number of visits to industrial concerns in Scotland, meetings with local authorities, with the Scottish C.B.I., and the Scottish Trades Union Congress. I think that, in these circumstances, the House will appreciate why he is not here and why I am in his place, but I must say again, as I did in an intervention earlier, that I am delighted to be in his place because this is a subject which interests me enormously and with which, as a Scottish Minister, I am every bit as much concerned as any of my colleagues in the Scottish Office.
I would first put out of the way one or two points which I thought tended to 1561 be a little partisan in nature. I thought the hon. Member for East Stirlingshire was being a little less than fair in some of the comments he made about what the Government are doing in practical terms to deal with the unemployment situation in Scotland. I do not intend to go into past history; I do not intend to rake up the fact—for it is a fact—that under his Government, previously, more jobs were lost to Scotland than were created there.
One point which I would like to make to him, though, in relation to this debate on the question of investment grants against incentives in the form of tax relief, is this: the great point which he made was in relation to the extra liquidity which grants create, but I have not always found this to be the case among firms in my own constituency. The payment of grants under the previous Government did not in practice result in increasing liquidity as quickly as some of those who support that system try to make out. However, I say that only in passing.
One unfortunate point about the debate, if I may say so to the hon. Member, was that he tended to take rather too narrow a view of investment across Scotland. The hon. Member for Greenock was rather fairer in his remarks, and rather more welcoming of the part which foreign investment can play in Scotland. Whilst I am at one with the hon. Member for East Stirlingshire in that I would like to see more indigenous investment, more investment from Scottish firms and Scottish business men, I say to him that through our general policies, and in particular the special treatment which Scotland gets and the special development area status which the great area of Scotland has, to which the hon. Member did not pay a fair tribute, we have facilities one way or another to help industry to expand. Therefore, whilst we do want greater expansion of indigenous industry as well, at the same time I believe that the Government—all of us, the C.B.I., the S.T.U.C., the Scottish Council—have to make sure that we tap every possible source of investment.
Therefore I felt that it was slightly unfair of the hon. Member simply to talk as though the Government were concentrating upon and were interested only in getting investment from Germany. 1562 This is not true. The Government, throughout all their policies in relation to industry generally and in the work which they have done, and quite apart from Germany—I shall say a word about this later—have demonstrated that we encourage initiatives over a much bigger and wider programme, in conjunction with other organisations, to which the hon. Member did not pay full tribute, to encourage investment in Scotland.
Turning to the main subject of this debate, having said how important it is to get indigenous investment, I must make it absolutely clear that it is our policy, as indeed it was of the previous Government, to try to encourage investment from overseas as well. To look back, as was fairly stated, over the past 25 years, it is most interesting to see that the great majority of the overseas firms which have come to Scotland have come from North America. Indeed, it is true to say that Scotland has been particularly successful in this area. Of the American firms which have come to the United Kingdom, about one-quarter have come to Scotland, and tribute must be paid to the work which the Department of Trade and Industry, and its predecessor the Board of Trade, and the Scottish Council have done to achieve this. As the hon. Member for Greenock said so rightly, these firms have firmly established the electronics industry in Scotland, and they have withstood, even better than some indigenous industry, the vagaries of the national and international economic climate over the years.
Further, we believe that our proposed accession to the European Communities will lead to an increased flow of industrial investment in Scotland from the E.E.C. countries, and, indeed, also from North America, because we believe that firms will be encouraged as a result of very much wider marketing opportunities which will be created. Scotland has much to offer. There is a tremendous unsatisfied need in European industry for skilled industrial workers.
§ Mr. Douglas
Does not the hon. Gentleman concede that the unsatisfied need in West Germany has been there for some considerable time? Will he give figures for German direct investment in the United Kingdom and United Kingdom direct investment in Germany to see who is coming off best?
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
The hon. Gentleman must realise that we came into office only 18 months ago and that we had to lay our plans. The hon. Gentleman accuses us of dragging our feet, but we have not dragged our feet at all. Considerable preparation is needed for a campaign like this: it is silly to jump in at half cock. The hon. Gentleman does not realise the amount of work and time that has gone into these preparations and the amount of publicity that has been given to the campaign.
The hon. Gentleman also ignores one of the biggest factors, and that is the effect of our vote in October for entry into Europe. My hon. Friend's visit to Germany was well-timed to coincide with these wider opportunities in Europe. I completely refute his criticism on that point.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I am sorry. I cannot give way. When we came into office in June, 1970, although a great deal of work had been done—and I pay tribute to the Labour Government and previous Conservative Governments—to persuade American firms and firms from other parts of the United Kingdom to come to Scotland, little work had been done to promote Scotland as an industrial location for European industry.
Germany had a booming economy and a consequent acute labour shortage and was importing a large number of foreign workers. In considering investment from Europe in terms of priorities—and this is a European and not just a German campaign—it seemed right to start with Germany.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Efforts have been made by local authorities in Scotland, and new towns have been created, but we were concerned that what was being done should be properly co-ordinated through a well-planned national campaign.
§ Mr. Hannan
The hon. Gentleman is surely aware that in the E.E.C. countries, including Germany, investment grants and not investment allowances are given?
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
The hon. Gentleman completely ignores the econo- 1564 mic circumstances of those countries. The whole point of Germany was that opportunities for further investment were there and German industrialists were looking elsewhere. The matter which the hon. Gentleman raises has nothing to do with investment incentives.
To continue to answer the hon. Member for East Stirlingshire, and not to be diverted into party politics which the hon. Gentleman said it was not his intention to mention in this debate, we decided to do something about opportunities in Europe, to create an organisation and to give it money, which is the crucial thing.
In May this year we set up a joint Scottish Council venture under the chairmanship of Lord Taylor, and we are grateful to Lord Taylor and his colleagues for having undertaken this important task. The Committee has two main responsibilities—first, to conduct a campaign of promotion and publicity to attract industrial investment to Scotland and, secondly, to co-ordinate the activities in this area of regional and local agencies. The membership of the Committee is widely drawn and includes representatives of local authorities, industry and the S.T.U.C.
The Committee will operate only in Europe; it is specifically for this purpose. In the attraction of industry from other parts of the United Kingdom and North America, the Scottish Council will continue to operate as it has done before, and the other areas will not be part of the responsibilities of the Committee. At the same time, we do not intend to detract from the activities concerned with these other areas, and they will continue.
The next most important thing was to make sure that this body had sufficient funds at its disposal to mount a vigorous and effective campaign. That is why the Government have made a grant of £70,000 in the current financial year, rising to £100,000 next year, with further contributions from the Scottish Council and the regional bodies which support the Committee's work. We are grateful for the response to our request for support from these other bodies; it is extremely useful.
The Committee has set up its own separate staff unit in the Scottish Office, 1565 and has a full-time publicity and public relations officer in Germany who will be living in the Frankfurt area. The Committee has prepared a considerable quantity of attractive and comprehensive publications, which we hope will give information to firms who may be seeking to invest in Scotland.
Coming to the time-scale, the major criticism I have of what was said by the hon. Member for East Stirlingshire is that the attraction of industry is not an activity which can be taken up overnight and laid down again after yielding quick results. It is very much a long-term operation which we expect to continue over a period of years. The hon. Gentleman knows, as the hon. Member for Greenock knows from his experience in the Scottish Office, that even for industrial firms the time scale of decisions is long. It will be two to three years before we see any results from these activities, which are only just starting.
Although I cannot say with any accuracy where this will lead us, we believe that it is a good and useful initiative. One simply has to start some time. My hon. Friend visited Germany a month or two ago with the mission headed by Lord Taylor. The visit was arranged by the Committee, and my hon. Friend was accompanied by members of the Committee and its staff. The purpose of the mission was to launch a campaign to attract industrial investment to Scotland by bringing to the attention of influential persons in industrial and financial circles Scotland's potential as a modern industrial base. The party visited many places and met many industrialists, hankers, financiers and others, and was extremely well received wherever it went.
We at the Scottish Office are convinced that the best way to handle this activity is to conduct it in partnership with the Scottish Council, which has had such a long and successful experience in North America, and there is no question of the Government withdrawing from this task. We are striving to give to the Scottish Council a new energy and a new organisation to which we shall give sufficient funds to enable it to do the job properly, funds which were never matched by those available to the Scottish Council or to any other organisation in Scotland during the previous Administration.
1566 This important new initiative has got off to a good start, and over the next few years it will play its part in the revival of industry. As I said earlier, we do not rely on this alone, but it has its part to play. It is important that Scotland should be represented in Europe and that European industry should be represented in Scotland.