HC Deb 22 October 1975 vol 898 cc472-3
15. Mr. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will pay an official visit to Alloa.

Mr. Millan

My right hon. Friend has no plans at present to do so.

Mr. Reid

Does the right hon. Gentleman not appreciate that the threatened closure of the Messrs. Donbros factory in Alloa is in that town the equivalent of a job loss of 45,000 in the Glasgow district? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that locally a decision has been made across party lines, and with trade union agreement, that the matter merits his personal attention? Will he take this opportunity to state his views on the threatened closure, the threatened removal of Scottish machinery, work and brand names to England and the lack of union consultation in advance of the closure notice? Will he confirm that he will continue to use his good offices to exert pressure on the main board of Messrs. Coats Patons to ensure that production capacity is retained at Lornshill, Alloa?

Mr. Millan

I have already met the STUC, the unions involved, the managements of Coats Paton, Donbros and the hon. Gentleman. I was in touch with the unions again about this situation only today following a meeting which they had with the management yesterday. This is not a simple question of transferring work from Scotland to England, as I think the hon. Gentleman knows. In any case, Coats Paton is a Scottish controlled company. I accept what the hon. Gentleman says about the serious nature of the problem. The position is that decisions about redundancies and the closure were deferred so as to allow further negotiations to take place. Those negotiations are taking place. There was a meeting yesterday, but I understand that no solution has yet been found. However, all the factors involved, including the possibility of other work, are being considered at the moment. I have said to management and to the trade unions that if there is anything I can do to help in this situation, I shall do it.

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