HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 cc581-2
Q3. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to improve co-ordination between the Departments of Trade and Industry, Environment and the Scottish Office concerning industrial development and housing policy.

The Prime Minister

There is already very close co-ordination between all Departments concerned with these matters.

Mr. Hamilton

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that he and his party made a promise at the time of the General Election that they would spend considerably more on infrastructure as a major contribution to industrial development, particularly in the development areas? Is he aware that the current policies of the Government will result in a catastrophic fall in the house-building programme in Scotland, contrary to his election pledges?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both last October and last month, announced the special measures which are being taken in the development areas, with the creation of the special development area in West Central Scotland. He also made an announcement about additional funds which will be made available for infrastructure. Infrastructure, of course, includes other aspects of construction besides housing.

Mr. Sillars

Would the right hon. Gentleman now tell us what his Ministers have been unable to tell us; namely, whether or not his housing measures will increase the number of houses built in Scotland each year between now and 1975?

The Prime Minister

That must obviously depend to a certain extent on the increase in private building, which is being encouraged, as is public building.