HC Deb 13 January 1971 vol 809 cc46-7
18. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the level of the Government's financial support to the Scottish Council, Development and Industry.

31. Mr. Sproat

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to set up a national body to co-ordinate approaches by the increasing number of Scottish organisations, to attract foreign industrialists to Scotland.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Development is discussing with the Scottish Council and other bodies concerned how the arrangements for promoting Scotland as an industrial location can be extended and made more effective. I am considering what Government assistance might be given towards the cost of a satisfactory scheme for this purpose.

Mr. Douglas

I thank the Secretary of State for his reply, but does he not agree that there are dangers in a body like the Scottish Council, which is independent and has acted as a valuable sounding board for policy, being brought too much into the governmental orbit? We do not want the situation to arise from this that the Government withdraw from their rightful rôle of attracting new industry to Scotland.

Mr. Campbell

I believe that this is a partnership in which the Government have a rôle to play and in which a promotional body for Scotland also has a rôle, working in association with the Government, and it is with that in view that these discussions are taking place.

Mr. Sproat

I welcome the plans mentioned by my right hon. Friend, but will he assure the House that the regional and local work which has supplied so much of the dynamic in the past will not be stifled by any new agency but will be more productively canalised?

Mr. Campbell

My hon. Friend has hit on another of the matters which must be resolved. We wish to make the best use of the regional efforts and at the same time to make sure that they are co-ordinated, do not compete with each other and do not conflict.