HC Deb 14 July 1971 vol 821 cc475-6
10. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken to build up the land bridge between the Clyde and the Forth.

Mr. Younger

The steps being taken include the improvement of road and rail communications ; the extension of the Greenock container terminal ; the provision of a new lock at Grangemouth ; docks and the extension of Glasgow Airport.

Mr. Grimond

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. As this is one of the most important areas to the Scottish economy and will be of increasing importance if we join the E.E.C., can he give us the date when, for example, he expects the Greenock terminal extension to be finished? Are the things he has announced today part of the general programme announced yesterday or additional to it? If they are additional, is any part of yesterday's programme to be devoted to this area of Scotland?

Mr. Younger

Various parts of the programme announced yesterday will be devoted to projects which would have relevance to this reply. I understand that work is going well on the Greenock container terminal the provision of a new lock at Grangemouth docks, and the extension of Glasgow Airport, but I cannot give a precise date. The right hon. Gentleman should bear in mind that the proposals for developing central Scotland as a corridor for industrial development depend not only on communications but on the manufacture of raw material brought in at one side of Scotland and sent out as finished goods at the other. The Scottish Council is taking further steps to establish priorities for putting that in hand.

Sir J. Gilmour

Is any research or investigation being done into the use of a pipeline to transfer solids?

Mr. Younger

I know of no particular investigation into that matter, but if my hon. Friend has any proposals in mind I shall be glad to receive them.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

It is surprising that the hon. Gentleman does not know that there are a number of phases in the Greenock terminal project. Two of them were authorised by the last Government, and I understand that one is pending. Has that phase been authorised yet? When will he authorise the fourth stage?

Mr. Younger

Details of particular projects are another question, and I shall be glad to answer if the hon. Gentleman puts one down.