HC Deb 14 April 1976 vol 909 cc1365-6
13. Mr. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the rundown of the textile industry in Clackmannanshire.

Mr. Millan

I am very concerned about recent closures of textile factories in Clackmannanshire and will keep in touch with the situation.

Mr. Reid

Does the new Secretary of State for Scotland remember that, when Donbros of Alloa closed, specific guarantees were given in writing by Coats Paton that a new synthetic yarn plant would open at Lornshill, and that the company has now gone back on its word and opened the plant in England? What does the Secretary of State feel about them morality of such a sell-out, and what will he do about it?

Mr. Millan

The hon. Gentleman will know that that particular move involved moving work from England to Scotland—a rather different thing from what he is normally complaining about. As it happens, there was a certain amount of English opposition to that move, but the situation has now changed. Coats Paton, which is a Scottish company, has given an undertaking that some other suitable work will be moved to Alloa, and I am anxious to see that that undertaking is discharged. The initial undertaking, as the hon. Gentleman will know, came after I met the management of the company, and I very much want to see the factory at Lornshill being used.