HC Deb 09 July 1975 vol 895 c516
10. Mr. David Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will pay an official visit to the Borders.

Mr. Millan

My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Steel

That answer will be received with regret by my constituents, who were hoping to have an opportunity to ask the Secretary of State about the savage increases in rates in the Borders area and to hear his explanation.

Mr. Millan

Of course, there have been increases in rates in the Borders and elsewhere, but some of the increases are a direct result of evening up the situation in one area compared with another. In some border areas the rate poundage was only 20p or 30p in the pound. In those circumstances I would have been astonished if there had not been a substantial increase in rates this year.

Mr. Monro

Will the Minister accept that there are serious problems in the textile industry on the borders of South-West Scotland? Is he aware that many representations have been made to the Secretary of State for Trade about the use of Scottish names for overseas goods imported into the United Kingdom? This is an increasing problem and we are gravely concerned about the situation.

Mr. Millan

Representations to that effect have been made to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and I have seen reports of that meeting. We in the Scottish Office obviously take an interest in the matter, and I shall pursue the point.