HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 c917
34. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new firms have been established in Scotland in the last nine months; how many have been closed; and what has been or will be the net gain in jobs provided.

Mr. Anthony Grant

I regret that the precise information is not available. But in the period 1st September, 1970, to 31st May, 1971, 131 industrial development certificates were issued in Scotland which are estimated to give rise to nearly 9,200 jobs when the projects are fully manned. In the same period 110 closures of manufacturing establishments involving 8,300 redundancies were notified to the Department of Employment.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. Gentleman give comparable figures for the last five or six years so that we may know the trend? Is he aware that there is enormous despondency in Scotland because of the callous policies of the Government, and that there is no sign of recovery in Scotland? On the contrary, all the signs are that things will get worse before they get better—if they get better.

Mr. Grant

On the first point, I cannot give the hon. Gentleman such lengthy figures without notice. If he puts down a Question, I shall be glad to do so. Nor do I accept the extravagant and depressing language he used. It might be worth his while to bear in mind that there has been a marked improvement in I.D.C. approvals for the area and for projects over 10,000 square feet, in project numbers, floor space and estimated additional employment for the period March-May, which are all higher than the corresponding period last year.