§ 7.14 p.m.
§ Mr. Donald Stewart (Western Isles)
I beg to move,That the salary of the Secretary of State for Scotland should be reduced by the sum of £1,000.First, I convey to the Conservative Party the thanks of my hon. Friends and myself for making a Supply Day available to Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party. Although it could be argued that damage is done to the democratic process of the House of Commons when the minority parties are denied Supply Days, I fully accept that by the existing procedures the Conservative Party could have maintained its exclusive position. Therefore, its gesture is all the more appreciated.
I should draw attention to an alteration in the wording of the motion. Originally it called for the reduction of the Secretary of State's salary by 50 per cent. It now seeks a reduction of £1,000. That change does not imply any shift in our attitude to the Scottish Office or the Government. The change has been made because we have been informed that the Secretary of State has already drawn over half his salary for this year and that next year's salary has not been voted.
It is my intention to deal with the Scottish economy, but I hope that the House will not feel that I am narrowing the debate if I refer for a moment to my constituency. The current unemployment figure is over 21 per cent. I can appreciate the anxiety of right hon. and hon. Members when they see unemployment figures climbing to 10 per cent., but if we could achieve that sort of unemployment level in the Western Isles we would regard it as unprecedented prosperity. I do not think that anyone living in the Western Isles has seen the figure as low as that.
What urgent steps are the Government taking to deal with that problem? It seems that they are taking precisely none, except for vague references to the Highlands and Islands Development Board and its powers. I asked the Secretary of State in a Written Question what plans he had for assisting the building of township roads in the Western Isles. I raised 1494 the matter because many roads do not now exist, and many others are in urgent need of repair. The construction of township roads would be a step towards relieving the unemployment figures. The Minister of State, Scottish Office replied:Schemes put forward by the Islands Council within the framework of its approved transport policies and programme will be eligible for the grants which are available for this purpose."—[Official Report, 21st January 1976; Vol. 903, c. 474.]
With indifference on that scale the Government should be obliged to declare their lack of interest.
The Labour Party in Scotland has issued a document that purports to show why an independent Scotland would be worse off than the present Scotland. I do not intend to deal with that document in any detail, but there are several fundamental questions that could be asked in challenging the proposition. For example, why are the Scandinavian countries, with fewer resources than Scotland, enjoying a higher standard of living? Why have they enjoyed that situation for a long time? Why should Scotland be in its present plight when official figures show that compared with England the Scots export more per head and save more per head? Why should the depressing forecast have validity when it is clear from official figures that Scotland can feed its own people? I regret to say that that is now beyond the capacity of England.
It is a fact that a basic resource is in strong demand in the modern world. Does not the oil situation, make a nonsense of the Government's scenario? We have been assured by the Government that oil will be the salvation of the United Kingdom economy, but, according to the Government, for oil to be recognised as a Scottish resource is a snare and a delusion in economic terms.
Would a Scottish Government have supported the plans of the British Steel Corporation to close down plants showing a profit? That is what took place when steel was nationalised on a British basis. It was clear that when the day came for retrenchment it would be the Scottish end of the industry that would suffer the highest cuts. Would a Scottish Government have shelved the Oceanspan project? Would a Scottish Government have acquiesced in the gross underdevelopment at Hunterston? Would they have 1495 accepted the EEC fisheries policy? Would a Scottish Government have sat supinely over the sort of deprivation that has been confined almost entirely to the west of Scotland?
I desist from asking further questions because I could take up the whole of this debate. As The Scotsman wrote in an editorial:The fruits of dependence are sour.The case for self-government rests on political, not economic, grounds. Some may argue that self-government is better than good government, but the choice which confronts Scotland now is between self-government and bad government. Nowhere is this more evident than in the mismanagement of the Scottish economy—the failure over the years to provide an environment for economic growth, and thus to provide continuing employment and a rising living standard for our people. The record is so poor that, to put it at its lowest, it is safe to say that no Scottish Government could do worse.
In the long run the standard of living of a society is the product of the effort, skill and judgment of its members, but in a modern economy the Government set the environment within which procedures in both private and public sectors operate. Today, all Western European Governments exert a good influence on their economies, their taxation, regulation of pricing and investment, controls of bank lending and of hire-purchase, and in various other ways. These Governments accept the responsibility for the performance of their economies, and the British Government cannot escape from their responsibility for what has happened in the Scottish economy since the war.
Let us take Japan as an example. It is a country with few raw materials, defeated in war, many thousands of miles from the world's markets, and yet it is the third largest industrial Power in the world. That has occurred because Japan's Government and people have had the intention of making a go of things. That is what Scotland could do if we had a Scottish Government.
Successive British Governments have totally failed to provide an environment within which the Scottish economy could develop a capacity for self-sustaining growth. The consequence has been record 1496 levels of emigration, record losses of jobs, and the lowest rate of economic growth in any country in Europe. Within Scotland the combination of exceptional deprivation with grim employment prospects underlines the particular failure to come to grips with the problem of the West Central Region despite 30 years of trying within the framework of the Union. Successive British Governments have failed to prompt growth in the Scottish economy because they have never tried. There are no special secrets or mysterious ingredients in the process of economic growth. All the other small countries of Western Europe have successfully set in motion programmes of economic growth.
§ Dr. Jeremy Bray (Motherwell and Wishaw)
The hon. Gentleman is developing a most interesting argument, but I am not entirely clear whether he is arguing that the British Government have failed in the management of the British economy, or whether, in managing the British economy, the Government have discriminated against Scotland. Will he make the situation clear?
§ Mr. Stewart
I agree with the hon. Gentleman's comments about the attitude of the British Government. We are saying that in a free Scotland we would make decisions for the Scottish people.
As a result the other small countries in Western Europe have overtaken us in their standard of living. The Scandinavian countries have long ago left us behind, while the Republic of Ireland will overtake the United Kingdom within five years. Since the war successive British Governments have carried out sporadic measures which they call "regional policy". These measures are not designed to promote economic growth but simply to alleviate unemployment—unemployment incurred by the British Government's past failure to promote economic growth. The car factory in the 1960s and the aluminium smelter in the 1970s were installed not for the economic benefit of Scotland but for the political convenience of the party in power.
In the devolution debate the question of Dounreay was raised. The answer to that question was provided by Sir Christopher Hinton, a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority. He said that that plant would not go to 1497 Caithness because there was a certain degree of danger. Therefore, many of these projects have come to Scotland because of factors other than any attempt to float the Scottish economy.
§ Mr. Malcolm Rifkind (Edinburgh, Pentlands)
The hon. Gentleman raises the interesting subject of Dounreay. Will he inform the House whether it is official SNP policy to seek the removal of Dounreay from that sphere of operations in an independent Scotland?
§ Mr. Stewart
No. It is not. The point I make is that that was the reason given by the then chairman of the AEA rather than any idea of providing jobs.
On the contrary, the loss-making sectors of the Scottish economy have expanded all the time—from coal and shipbuilding to steel and motor cars. It is a measure of the Government's contempt for the Scottish people that they should suppose that the greater the subsidy the greater the benefit. In perpetuating low productivity and low-wage fixing the Government are doing the greatest harm to the Scottish economy. Needless to say, the Government have done nothing whatever to develop within the Scottish economy the capacity to generate new jobs in the high productivity high-wage bracket.
Periodic deflation in the 1950s and 1960s whenever the south-east of England overheated meant substantial unemployment in Scotland. On those occasions we had to take the medicine for any weakness that hit the South-East of England. If the economic consequences of the Union were allowed to continue, all viable economic activity in Scotland would die out and the whole population would come to depend on Treasury subsidies. No doubt we should all be expected to be extremely grateful for that generosity.
We want the right to earn our own living by putting our own resources to work. Freed from the strategy of Whitehall, we can do it. That will come from our own freedom to choose the policies that suit our own needs, a freedom which only a sovereign Government can possess.
Contact between Stockholm and Oslo is a matter of daily routine, but at present consultation between civil servants and Ministers in the Scottish Office and their 1498 Whitehall counterparts is a one-way dialogue.
The Labour Party has suggested that no further economic powers can be devolved to a Scottish Assemblywithout endangering the essential economic unity of the United Kingdom".Nobody in Scotland will allow this empty, meaningless phrase to stand in the way of badly needed rebuilding of our economy.
All that the Government have to offer is the Scottish Development Agency, whose powers in relation to the desperate situation in West Central Scotland are as helpful as are the powers of a bandage in curing a cancerous growth. Office jobs, though welcome as a stopgap, do nothing to aid the economy to grow.
Nobody should underestimate the boost to the Scottish morale of a Scottish Government. We should show the world what the Scottish people can plan and bring to fruition for our people. Westminster rule means stagnation and decay. A new Scotland under a Scottish Government is essential if our country is to have any reasonable existence for its people.
§ 7.28 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. William Ross)
I am disappointed at the enthusiasm displayed by the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) in seeking to reduce the salary of the Secretary of State for Scotland. I assure the hon. Gentleman that, if the motion succeeded tonight, it would be very much harder on the taxation department than it would be on the Secretary of State.
I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman and his party got the motion wrong. I excuse them for that, but I regret the lack of judgment shown by the hon. Gentleman in his analysis of the situation he sought to survey.
In the middle of the hon. Gentleman's remarks I began to wonder what country he was talking about. On other occasions the hon. Gentleman has spoken of the fascinating prospect of a Scottish army, a Scottish air force and a Scottish navy. I thought that one day Scotland might even hear "Donald, where's your 'cruisers'?" In a recent debate the hon. Gentleman also mentioned Scottish customs posts.
1499 The House tonight is ostensibly debating the Scottish economy, although it will be a somewhat truncated discussion. Let there be no doubt that the real purpose of the SNP is to air yet again its slogans of separatism and its glowing promises of what is to happen. The SNP would have us believe that under an independent Government Scotland would be considerably healthier. No doubt SNP members are convinced that under their policies Scotland could have been isolated from the world recession.
What policies do the SNP put forward to deal with the situation? I defy anyone to tell us what their policies are.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson (Dundee, East) rose—
§ Mr. Ross
The hon. Gentleman can give way as much as he likes but I shall take my dictates from the Chair.
Anyone who listened to the well-read speech of the hon. Member for Western Isles will know that he did not indicate the policies of the Scottish National Party or the consequences of separation. I have heard nothing from the hon. Member for Western Isles or his colleagues to indicate that they have any credible policy. It is time they produced a White Paper—a tartan one if they like—giving the Scottish people the facts about separatism, its consequences and its dangers. I challenge them to do so.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson rose—
§ Mr. Ross
I have not finished yet. I shall deal with the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson). He was on his feet denying the existence of certain documents when his hon. Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) was rising to tell us what was in these documents. Why will they not publish these documents? It is most interesting. Only the other day the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire made a speech telling us about the strong pound, and so on. He expressed his confidence in financial management after self-government and said:We are strongly of the view that it will be advantageous, initially, to try to keep the Pound Scots at parity with the Pound Sterling.1500 He said that because he knew that otherwise unemployment would result. He continued:the reason for keeping the rate aligned to sterling would be to protect Scotland's principal labour-employing manufacturing industries from the effects of an effective upward revolution on their export prospects".
§ Mr. Ross
Why not? The whole of Scotland can read on. Why did the Scottish National Party not publish the document? It did not do so because it would be far too embarrassing. Indeed, hon. Gentlemen say that they do not know Scotland's trade position with the rest of the world; they expect us to find it out for them. Tonight they tell us nobly and bravely about Scotland's export position when in this document, produced by a working party of which the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire is a member, they say that they do not know. They are conning the people of Scotland into tartan chaos. The people of Scotland will give them their answer.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
I am not sure whether the Secretary of State was making the offer seriously, but as the Government these days tend to use the Post Office for propaganda purposes and for issuing their own White Paper, will he assure us that if the Scottish National Party produces a White Paper as he evidently wishes us to produce, he will give it the same distribution as that for Labour Party propaganda.
§ Mr. Ross
We hear that from the hon. Member for Dundee, East, who said in the House that these papers did not exist. The embarrassment is obvious. I know that the hon. Gentleman and his party are mixed up.
We must face the facts of the situation. We need to look away beyond Scotland. The origins of high unemployment are to be found in the economic difficulties which almost all industrialised countries, including the whole of the United Kingdom, have had to face. Hon. Gentlemen compare Scotland—a country with concentrated industries and centuries of tradition and older industries—with Norway. They should be ashamed to suggest that that has any relevance to our 1501 situation. These difficulties began with mounting world inflation, later aggravated by the tremendous rise in oil prices which began in 1973. Hon. Gentlemen must face the fact that they have to tackle this problem from their present position. These factors led to an economic crisis in the Western world and resulted in the most serious world recession that we have seen since the war.
With falling domestic demand and a 9 per cent. drop in world trade—the first absolute fall for 30 years—unprecedented post-war unemployment rates were reached in almost all Western countries. In Canada the unemployment rate rose as high as 7.2 per cent., which is higher than the present rate of unemployment in Scotland. In the United States, it reached almost 9 per cent. and in Denmark almost 14 per cent. It would be idle to suppose that the Scottish economy could be insulated from such development. Indeed, it has not been, and I am well aware of the seriousness of the present situation, especially with regard to unemployment in west and central Scotland. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the increase in unemployment in Scotland has been substantially less than in most other parts of the United Kingdom.
The unemployment relative—which expresses seasonally adjusted unemployment in Scotland as a percentage of the comparable Great Britain rate—has fallen from 143 in January 1975 to 120 at present. Many of us remember when it was double that of the United Kingdom. The present level is the lowest since this series was first recorded in 1954. This is in stark contrast to the 1971–72 recession, when no such favourable movement was recorded. Despite the widespread nature of the current recession, seasonally adjusted unemployment in Scotland is still below the levels reached in that recession. In 1971 there were no balance of payments difficulties, no world recession and no rise in oil prices.
The reasons for the slower rise in Scottish unemployment are important. North Sea oil has obviously been a major influence, with about 50,000 jobs created directly and indirectly. Those who advocate a slower rate of depletion—the Scottish National Party, which tabled this motion—should bear in mind the employment consequences. It would also affect the employment viability of 1502 exploiting some of the smaller finds. Therefore, the members of the Scottish National Party change their tune from one part of the country to another, and from one constituency to another. What they are suggesting is not to the advantage of Scotland.
Another factor underlying the relative strength of the Scottish economy during this recession has been the effects of regional policies which have done much to create a greater resilience. I did not hear the hon. Gentleman the Member for Western Isles say anytthing about that. I bet he does not say to the Highlands and Islands Development Board the same scathing things as he said here tonight. Those who support the case for a separate Scotland would do well to bear this in mind. Regional policy and separation are incompatible. We cannot have regional policies as we know them under a separate Scotland.
The outlook for the Scottish economy depends to a large degree on developments in the United Kingdom and the world economy. There are now signs that output is recovering in many industrial countries and that this is being accompanied by a recovery in the volume of world trade. In the United Kingdom, the recession appears to be reaching a bottom, and output seems to be stabilising, although in view of lags between changes in output and changes in employment it is fair and right to say that it may be some time before the effects are seen in terms of reduced unemployment.
§ Mr. lain MacCormick (Argyll)
I am interested in the Minister's statement that we could not have regional policies under any type of devolved power or separate Government. The present Government have introduced a Scottish Development Agency to Scotland, yet they have retained the Highlands and Islands Development Board which, I agree, is an excellent institution. Why could we not continue to have that with an independent Scottish Parliament?
§ Mr. Ross
The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that basic to regional policy is the fact that we must control developments in the more prosperous parts of the United Kingdom. Industry must be steered directly. We must have incentives to that end which are both positive and negative. A Scottish independent Government sitting in Edinburgh could 1503 not have such control throughout the rest of the country.
This, then, is the situation that we face. It is certainly not a situation which allows of complacency. We know that the Scottish people are dissatisfied with the situation, and have a right to be, but we also know that the improvement that everyone wants will not be brought about by the simple act of separation or the deceptive benefits that are said to flow from it.
As a Government we are pledged to reduce unemployment. But industry cannot thrive or expand unless it is competitive in price. The first priority, therefore, must be to reduce inflation from its present level which, though it now shows signs of reducing, together with our serious balance of payments difficulties, has ruled out immediate general reflation. However, we are working towards that position with success.
Our policies have been directed towards these fundamental problems in the economy, but we have introduced selective measures to protect employment and maintain industrial capacity. The House is well aware of these—the temporary employment subsidy, the recruitment subsidy for school leavers, the job creation programme, aid to the construction industry, and the provision of increased funds for training, particularly of the young.
These measures have been in operation for only a short time, but from them have come 6,000 jobs which would otherwise not exist in Scotland. A week ago the Chancellor told the House that he would shortly be bringing forward further measures.
The only long-term solution to our problem lies in increasing our investment substantially in new types of industry and increasing productivity to match that of our competitors. That is what we have been doing in Scotland. We have been changing the whole pattern of Scottish industry over the past 10 to 15 years, and with considerable success, which the SNP should not ignore.
The Government's regional policy has a large part to play in this matter. Independent research has shown that 70,000 jobs were created in Scotland in the 1960s under regional policies.
§ Mr. Ross
There would have been more difficulties regarding unemployment if we had not introduced our regional policy. The hon. Gentleman proclaimed the merits of our policy when he was endeavouring to attract industry to Scotland.
Since the Industry Act came into force in 1972, selective financial assistance of £60 million has been offered for 500 Scottish projects, involving over £500 million of investment and 48,000 jobs. As well as enhancing job opportunities, these policies have helped to improve the wage differential. I have heard SNP Members constantly refer to low wages in Scotland. That gap has been closed. I gather that the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire may speak later. He embarrasses me, because he calls himself a Scot.
Too many people refuse to recognise the benefits of regional policy and of the jobs created. Regional policy, successful as it has been, is incompatible with independence. Therefore, those people ignore the facts.
With the whole of Scotland a development area, we have been able to use the full benefits of regional aid. As my right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General said in the debate on the Devolution White Paper, there has been a substantial transfer of resources from the prosperous parts of England to Scotland and Wales. Identifiable public expenditure per head in Scotland amounted to £636 in 1974–75, compared with £545 in England. To have maintained this level of expenditure in an independent Scotland would have meant higher taxation. Who should know better than the hon. Member for Western Isles that it costs far more to maintain standards of education and of health services in his remote areas. I have heard it whispered by some SNP Members that they would not get the same deal from an independent Scottish Parliament as they would from elsewhere. The fact is that they would have to accept lower standards of education, roads, health services and industrial support.
Even with the enormous difficulties that we have faced in the general world recession, we have scored some significant successes. In the past nine months decisions have been made by the Digital Equipment Corporation to bring about 1505 500 jobs to Ayr; by Singers to transfer about 300 jobs from West Germany to Clydebank; and by General Motors at Newhouse to expand by 400 to 500 jobs.
§ Mr. Ross
What about Honeywell? Sneers and rumours. I take the advice of my hon. Friend who represents the area, not the hon. Gentleman. There is Tannoy Products, with 200 new jobs at Coatbridge; Borbe Wanner, of Switzerland, with employment for about 100 at Irvine; Metal Box, involving about 100 new jobs at Springbum; and Air Products, with 100 new jobs at Cumbernauld. I could go on with the list of successes in regional policy which the SNP would destroy.
Over 50,000 jobs have been created in the last few years in Scotland, with the oil developments. Let no one belittle what has been done. The evidence of the success of the Government's regional policies as part of the United Kingdom framework is there for everyone to see. That work is going on.
The Government have made their direct contribution with the dispersal of 31,000 Civil Service jobs from London, announced in July 1974. I think that we should publish some of the letters we get from hon. Gentlemen opposite asking that some of these dispersals should go to their areas. The dispersal of 31,000 Civil Service jobs from London, announced in July 1974, is the biggest dispersal exercise undertaken in peace time. With 7,000 jobs coming to the Glasgow area, Scotland will get 23 per cent. of the jobs involved.
On Tuesday we announced that we had decided to locate 4,500 of the jobs from the Ministry of Defence in a new office block at the St. Enoch Station site, in central Glasgow. If SNP Members do not appreciate that, I assure them that the people and the Lord Provost of Glasgow do. There will be 650 jobs from the Ministry of Overseas Development at East Kilbride. This will help to regenerate the centre of Glasgow and provide a boost to commercial life there and in East Kilbride. It will bring benefits to the whole of West Scotland. Decisions on the remainder of the 7,000 jobs will be taken soon. [Interruption.] The hon. 1506 Member for Western Isles was not all that good on his feet; I wish that he would shut up now that he is sitting down. These are additional to our earlier decisions to locate the British National Oil Corporation, the Offshore Supplies Office and the headquarters of the Scottish Development Agency in Glasgow. Taken together, all these decisions in the public sector are bringing many thousands of jobs to the Strathclyde Region and will help Glasgow and the west of Scotland to become an even more important centre of Government administration.
Would these jobs have come to Scotland under separation? The Ministry of Defence would not have come to Glasgow; the National Engineering Laboratory would not be at East Kilbride; and the Post Office would not be at Cowglen. These decisions are the direct result of United Kingdom Government policies, which we shall continue to pursue.
Separatism would not be an answer to the major problems of Scotttish industry. We have not heard the Scottish National Party's policy on coal, for instance. What about the problems of the railways under a separate Scotland? The future of steel, motor cars and shipbuilding is bound up with the economy of the rest of the United Kingdom and with international competition.
The present production from Scottish steel plants represents about 12 per cent. of total United Kingdom output. Only about 8 per cent. of the United Kingdom's consumption of steel is used in Scotland. I have heard calls for a separate Scottish steel industry. The United Kingdom steel industry is an integrated one. In my view, a withdrawal into a separate Scotland would be a distinct disadvantage leading to loss of markets and would put a question mark over the whole modernisation programme.
That programme is going ahead, but the developments at Hunterston, at Clydesdale and Ravenscraig are dependent on an integrated United Kingdom industry. Equally with special steels. Without that integration we could forget Hunterston, because the big new development there is related to the needs of the United Kingdom, not Scotland. Indeed, the SNP has a past in relation to Hunterston.
1507 Turning to shipbuilding, the reduced demand for tankers and the drop in the level of world trade has thrown up substantial yard capacity, world-wide, which can be used for building new merchant ships. When we realise that the present capacity of Japanese shipyards alone is capable of meeting total current world demand, the size of the problem can be gauged. Anyone who thinks that a separate Scotland would deal successfully with that problem is just not in this world.
The difficulties facing Scottish shipyards in securing orders are not unique. There is a need to consider the solutions to these not on a Scottish or United Kingdom basis, but perhaps on an international basis. We have recently added the Scottish Development Agency to our armoury of weapons, though I do not remember getting full support from the SNP for its establishment. The hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire voted in Standing Committee against putting back into the Bill powers taken out by the House of Lords.
§ Mr. Crawford
The Labour Party and its Conservative allies in the Committee voted against giving the SDA more than the paltry sum that it has at its disposal at present.
§ Mr. Ross
The hon. Member did not deal with the point I raised. He voted with the Conservative Party to keep out of the Bill new powers that we had put in but which had been removed by the House of Lords.
The SDA will have a formidable task before it. It is not going to perform miracles, but it will be another means of assisting industrial development and environmental regeneration in Scotland. The Agency is in its infancy, but let no one think that the work has not already begun. It came into being only in December, but has lost no time in getting down to the tasks that face it. Already in these few weeks, it has announced its first programme of 18 advance factories. It is undertaking schemes for environmental improvement at Govan, Airdrie, Galashiels, Galafoot and Greenock. It is devising its overall strategy and assembling manpower resources to implement the strategy. The Agency will be able to provide investment capital, create new 1508 industrial enterprise and enter into joint ventures—all the things that the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire voted against.
There has been criticism, largely ill-informed, of the adequacy of the Agency's budget to enable it to tackle the tasks ahead. I assure the House that the effective functioning of the Agency will not be impaired by lack of finance.
It is inevitable that in any debate on the Scottish economy there should be a mention of North Sea oil. This is now a reality, with two fields already in production and more expected to come on stream this year. We estimate that the total output from these fields will meet between 15 per cent. and 20 per cent. of the United Kingdom needs in 1976. We are still on course to meet our target of self-sufficiency by 1980.
The nationalists have a fixation about North Sea oil, but they have overplayed their oil card and certainly their oil posters. Those posters were a disgrace to Scotland. One showed a picture of an old lady with the words:It's her oil. Why should 5,000 old people die of hypothermia?The actual figure is nine.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
Does the right hon. Gentleman not know that the figure of 5,000 was extrapolated from the British figure produced by Age Concern? It is the view of that respected organisation that this is the number of people who die from hypothermia.
§ Mrs. Margaret Bain (Dunbartonshire, East)
Some of us are getting a bit cheesed off, to put it mildly, with the right hon. Gentleman's semantics. We all know that hypothermia is a secondary cause in many cases of death from bronchitis, pneumonia and influenza and this has been stated by members of his own party, including the Convener of the Lothian Regional Education Committee.
§ Mr. Ross
I shall give the hon. Lady the figures produced by the Registrar-General for Scotland. Deaths from hypothermia last year totalled nine, but figures are also given for those cases in which it was a secondary cause. I think they totalled 181. Where does this figure of 5,000 come from? It really is disgraceful. That is why I say they have over-played the oil card.
Superficially, oil and its revenues may appear to give séparatism a certain economic credibility, but, as my right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General demonstrated in the devolution debate last month, there are important economic arguments which the nationalists choose to ignore. To stake Scotland's future on limited reserves of a single commodity that is subject to fluctuations in world prices would be a gamble with Scotland's future. The Scottish people will not respond to the nationalists' demands for separatism. We have made clear that we shall use the oil revenues for the benefit of Scotland and of other areas of the United Kingdom in need of development. Scotland's future lies in the future of the United Kingdom, and the Government will press forward in making it a success.
§ Mrs. Winifred Ewing (Moray and Nairn)
I remind the right hon. Gentleman that when I was the sole SNP representative in this House many hon. Members on the Government Benches said that they would agree with me but for their worry about whether Scotland could afford independence. Now the argument appears to be that we are too rich for independence.
§ Mr. Ross
I think the hon. Lady's point answers itself. We have heard a tale of woe about Scotland having no hope at all at present. I understand that one of the great supporters of the SNP is Sir Hugh Fraser, who has one or two interests outside Scotland. He founded the Fraser of Allander Institute which issued a quarterly economic comment last month, saying:it is now conceivable to argue that the effects of oil on the Scottish economy, allied with the longer-term structural changes which have occurred over the last decade, have effected a more lasting improvement in the underlying resilience of the economy. There is evidence of a permanent improvement in Scotland's relative economic position.1510 We must build on that, using the whole strength of this country. I do not want to see Scotland belittled by the kind of politicking we have had from the SNP. Hon. Members in the SNP have asked if I was embarrassed. The answer is "Yes". The sort of things that that party parades and preaches around Scotland embarrasses any patriotic Scotsman.
§ 7.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith (North Angus and Mearns)
When the Scottish National Party first put down its motion, I had great sympathy with the wish to reduce the salary of the Secretary of State by 50 per cent. We have learned tonight that it can only be reduced by £1,000 because that is all he has left of this year's salary. I commiserate with him, but this is typical of the Government. He is obviously living beyond his means if that is all he has left at this stage of the year. I would be rather worried if my household budget was spent at the same rate as the Secretary of State's salary has been spent.
I wish to express my personal appreciation to the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) for the remarks he made at the opening of his speech in thanking the official Opposition for making this Supply Day available to the minor parties.
However, I fear that this debate is getting away from the realities of the Scottish economy. The hon. Member's speech was nothing but a greetin' speech. It was an absolute tale of woe from beginning to end, and if that is the kind of Scotland that the hon. Member wants he is welcome to it. It is not the kind of Scotland I was born into and brought tip in. The Scotland we want is one which enjoys good prospects, but the narrow introspection and selfishness which typified the whole of the hon. Gentleman's speech is the one thing that will encourage people to leave Scotland and will encourage the kind of emigration which he was condemning. The Secretary of State dealt with the speech very well and showed what a lot of poppycock the hon. Gentleman was speaking.
I turn now to what really matters and what worries us, and that is the state of the economy. I appreciate some of the points the Secretary of State made about 1511 employment and new developments and new industries in Scotland, and I share his view that all in Scotland is not bleak. However, all in Scotland is not well. For that reason we are right to have this debate tonight.
The fact is that the situation in Scotland is at neither one extreme nor the other. It is not the woe of the SNP, and neither is there room for complacency in any sense. The Secretary of State mentioned the report from the Fraser of Allander Institute. Our debate is taking place against a background of unemployment at 160,000 in Scotland, although the hon. Member for Western Isles scarcely mentioned that fact. The institute's report drew attention to the number of good prospects in oil for long-term development both of industry and jobs, but there were other immediate matters to which it drew attention.
First, the report pointed out that new domestic orders for industry in Scotland had deteriorated, that the outlook for exports by Scottish industry was bleaker than in the rest of the United Kingdom and that capital expenditure in Scotland was expected to decline faster than in the rest of the United Kingdom. As a thermometer of optimism in Scottish industry, applications for regional aid, the report said, were declining. That gives cause for concern and is perhaps a much better reason for further debate than was advanced by the hon. Member for Western Isles.
We also have the benefit of the CBI survey which was published only last week, which tells a similar story. It says that employment in manufacturing industry is expected to fall, that plans for new investment are lagging and that forecasts for exports by Scottish firms are disappointing. No one, least of all the Government, can feel complacent about the situation in Scotland. In spite of what was said by the Secretary of State, a lot of the responsibility for this situation lies with the Government.
Tonight the right hon. Gentleman spoke about world influences as though he had only just discovered them. He referred to exploding oil prices in 1972 and 1973. Why did he not talk about them in 1973 when we were the Government? At that time he and his hon. Friends simply
1512 denied that these factors existed. They denied that there were problems with world food prices. They simply said that if anything was wrong it was totally the fault of the Conservative Government. Now the right hon. Gentleman is using those same factors to excuse the performance of his Government.
I shall be fair to the Secretary of State. One of the difficulties of any Government, whether Socialist or Conservative, is that they must deal with a difficult world situation. I only wish that this Government had faced up to that and tackled it, and not added to our problems by making such a mess of the economy at home. Just look at their mismanagement of the economy. Take inflation. The Chancellor told us in October 1974 that it was running at 8 per cent. Of course we did not believe him, but it was not until afterwards that we found that the true figure was nearer 25 per cent. Look at the autumn of 1974 when the Government won the General Election. They had let the economy rip for political reasons since the preceding February when they took office. We ended up in one of the most difficult periods of industrial unrest that Scotland has known for a long time.
As a result of a transport strike, 50,000 people were laid off. At one time 24,000 people were on strike in Scotland in 24 disputes—
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
Indeed, what about the miners' strike? Just consider how many people are unemployed today compared even with the time of the three-day working week. The figure now is nearly double, and production is at a lower level than it was then.
Oil offers great prospects for Scotland, but the right hon. Gentleman should go to Aberdeen as I do and talk to those in the industry. The optimism and confidence of a year ago have gone. It is all the fault of the Government. They have interfered with the oil industry and tried to nationalise it. They are taking over interests and they are dithering over licences. There is also the difficulty of platforms. In the white heat of a newly-elected Labour Government there was a great rush to build the platform sites to 1513 meet the tremendous expansion that was expected from the North Sea industry. The sites are now complete, but there are no orders. That is the fault of the Government's mismanagement, interference and dithering.
This difficulty cuts right across the backbone of Scottish industry. It is not the big firms but the smaller concerns which have been bled to death by the Chancellor's taxation policies. I question whether the Government's strategy for Scotland is the right one. Take their policy for the power industry. The House has voted £162 million to Chrysler, part of which will go to Linwood. I accept the need for some resources to deal with the difficult situation. That, however, was why we did not hear enough from the SNP Bench.
What about new jobs in new industry in Scotland? If we are honest, all of us in this House who come from Scotland know that the tragedy of the Scottish economy has been that as a result of two world wars, in which Scottish heavy industry in shipbuilding and engineering contributed to the national effort for national survival, we perpetuated in Scotland an out-of-date industrial economy, for the sake of helping the whole United Kingdom and our own survival, in continuing the support of what I describe as the modern declining industries. Are the Government really giving Scotland the break that it deserves in getting away from the declining industries and getting its economy more strongly and firmly based on the new and expanding industries?
Here we run into the hypocrisy of the SNP. Tonight the hon. Member for Western Isles referred to the car industry as part of the loss-making sector of the Scottish economy, yet he went into the Lobby with the Government to vote on that. Again, the hon. Member for Banff (Mr. Watt), in questioning last Thursday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said:Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that the £1624 million recently granted to save Chrysler would have planted nearly a million acres of timber? Does he not agree that there is an urgent need for a rethinking of our entire economic policy?"—[Official Report, 29th January 1976; Vol. 904, c. 647.]1514 We saw the rethinking when SNP Members went into the Lobby with the Government.
SNP Members talk with two voices—one in the north-east of Scotland and another in the industrial west of Scotland. Let them be honest. When they talk with these two voices, the people of Scotland see them for what they are worth. That is why one sees the results in the by-election in the Grampian Region this week, which shows that people are now taking them for their true values and are no longer being taken in.
§ Mr. Buchan
The hon. Gentleman is wrong. SNP Members speak not with two voices on Chrysler but with three voices. The hon. Member for Banff (Mr. Watt) said that all of the money should go to Linwood and that Coventry should go to the wall.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I agree. I apologise for doing the SNP a disservice in relation to the plurality of voices.
My final point is in relation to the policy and the whole strategy of the Government towards industry. First, are they getting the priorities right in doing this massive propping up of what I describe as the modern declining industries instead of using that money for better value to the people of Scotland in reorganising and helping the industries which are in difficulties but making sure at the same time that we do more to help the modern new industries in Scotland?
Here I turn to the Scottish Development Agency. In relation to the regeneration of industry and jobs in Scotland, I hope that this body will be effective. Tonight we have the Secretary of State's assurance that the effective functioning of the SDA will not be impaired for lack of funds. That is all very well but he is talking merely in generalities. People in industry in Scotland want to know the colour of the SDA's money. In the Act it is specified as £300 million. A circular from the Scottish Office said that this was to be spent over about five years. Never since the Second Reading of the Bill, however, have the Government actually told the House of Commons and Scotland what the budget of that body is to be.
This is not a body that is simply to be used to generate new jobs. It is taking 1515 over jobs from other agencies, such as local authorities, the Scottish Industrial Estates and others, and about £20 million a year will be used to take account of its own running expenses. That is already spoken for in jobs and work already done by other bodies. How much will be used by the SDA to try to encourage new jobs and industry in Scotland?
My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor) has questioned the Minister of State on this matter. The Minister of State said that we had to wait for the public expenditure White Paper. I have written to the Secretary of State about it. I am still awaiting a reply. The whole of Scotland is waiting to know precisely whether this body will be just another white elephant or whether it will be given the tools and the means to do the job.
I believe that the Government are getting matters wrong as regards Scotland. They must not only look fundamentally at their industrial strategy. They must change it towards developing more strongly the resources and money behind the new developing industry, investing in Scotland's future and not in Scotland's past.
It is for those reasons that I believe that the Secretary of State's salary must be reduced.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ Mr. David Lambie (Central Ayrshire)
In listening to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State this evening, I found that I was in agreement with him. I accept that the policies of the present Labour Government, given time, will be successful in Scotland. I accept that the Government have been unfortunate, in this time of severe economic restraint, in meeting an oil crisis that is outside our own control, and with one of the downturns in capitalist economies.
However, at the end of the day when we go back home to Scotland we find that there are still 162,000 unemployed there. As Labour people, we find great difficulty in justifying that figure. The same must apply to my right hon. and hon. Friends who represent areas in the north-west and north-east of England, where unempolyment can be higher than it is in Scotland.
1516 I accept all that, However, my criticism of the present Labour Government is not that their long-term policies are not correct; it lies in the fact that their short-term policies as a Government—and the Secretary of State for Scotland, as a member of the Government, must carry his burden of responsibility—involve trying to run the capitalist system better than the Tories do. We are trying to do it as we did it from 1964 to 1970, and we shall get the same result that we got in 1970—the defeat of the Labour Government at the next General Election—unless we can show results. Such a defeat would not be of any advantage to the people of Scotland, because since the war we have suffered under the Tories more than we have suffered under the policies of any Labour Government.
If the Government want to retain the confidence of the Scottish people, they must examine their short-term financial policies. They must change them. They must realise that we are a Socialist party and are not here to repair the faults in the capitalist system. We are here to introduce a Socialist system of economy. If we do that we shall solve the problems of Britain as a whole.
Although in some respects I agree with certain of the policies of the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) in relation to the devolving of power within the United Kingdom, I would never advise anyone in Scotland who is a Socialist and a supporter of the Labour Party to support the SNP. Although the SNP believes in devolving power from Westminster to Edinburgh, its members are still the main supporters and exponents of the capitalist system, because the majority of them are Conservatives. The hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Gray) is quite a decent Tory. Sometimes when I look across the Chamber at him I realise why he does not seem to be such a Tory, compared with some of the reactionaries such as the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson). Therefore, I can well understand the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) wondering about the policies of the SNP.
The people in Scotland, especially in the west of Scotland, are being led up the garden path. Because they are dissatisfied with the economic performance of the Labour Government, they are 1517 voting for people who are more reactionary than some Tory Members. One has only to look at the voting record of SNP Members in Parliament, and to read the speeches they have made outside Parliament, to find justification for that statement.
I want to make only two points that affect my area. I represent one of the growth areas of Scotland, where we find difficulty in getting support from Government agencies. They always ask what we are worrying about, when everyone is doing well. But the latest figures show that in this so-called growth area in the west of Scotland there are now 1,652 people unemployed, of whom 1,268 are males. This is an unemployment rate of 14 per cent. in a so-called growth area.
In the Garnock Valley, which will soon be affected by redundancy in the steel industry, the January figures from the labour exchange show 624 unemployed—a rate of 11.3 per cent.
My constituency is not only a growth area; many people living there are now working in Hunterston, in the constituency of the hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Mr. Corrie)—or they hope to get jobs there, having had their jobs in the Garnock Valley area, Kilmarnock, and so forth, made redundant. In the Saltcoats area there are 2,250 unemployed—a rate of 10.4 per cent. These are unemployment figures for a growth area in Scotland.
In our area we are finding great difficulty in achieving any improvement, because of the fact that the infrastructure—the sewerage, drainage and so on—is still comparable to what existed at the end of the last century. The roads of Ayrshire are not much more than modifications of the tracks of over 100 years ago. That is in spite of the fact that within the past 20 years or so we have been lucky enough to have representatives from Ayrshire constituencies in both Conservative and Labour Governments. The hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) was in the last Conservative Administration. We have had the longest serving Secretary of State for Scotland representing an Ayrshire constituency. Despite this, we are the only major industrial county in Scotland without a connection to any motorway.
It is impossible to build a growth area without a good road system. I ask my
1518 right hon. Friend—or whoever makes the winding-up speech for the Government tonight—to give us an assurance that we shall have motorway connections from the so-called growth areas of Irvine and North Ayrshire to the main motorway system.
We are also affected—as is everyone outside the Glasgow conurbation—by the proposals contained in the Strathclyde Regional Council's regional plan. It will be putting forward a policy under which all the resources in manpower and finance will be spent on the Glasgow conurbation, and suggesting that the Ayrshire people should be prepared to go easy in terms of resources and manpower inside the Strathclyde area, in order to divert resources to the Glasgow area.
As a Socialist, I cannot deny that the Glasgow conurbation is one of the main areas of urban deprivation in the United Kingdom, but my right hon. Friend cannot expect the Labour people in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and all the areas outside the conurbation to have their standards cut down in order to maintain development in the Glasgow conurbation. Glasgow is not a Strathclyde question. Glasgow, with its urban deprivation, is a British question. My right hon. Friend is always advising me of the advantages of the United Kingdom. I do not want the people in Irvine to have to divert much-needed development in order to help solve the problems of the Glasgow conurbation. I want the whole of the United Kingdom to help solve the problems of the Glasgow conurbation.
The Secretary of State must tell the Strathclyde Regional Council that we shall not accept these policies of spreading the help around while at the same time taking the crumbs away from areas like central Ayrshire and putting them in the Glasgow area. The Glasgow people need help, but it should come not from the surrounding areas but from the main area of the United Kingdom.
I was interested in the statement of the Secretary of State that we need increased investment in new types of industry. A week ago the Convener of Planning in the Strathclyde Regional Council, at a meeting between the new town boards and representatives of the district council, stated that 70,000 jobs will be lost in the Strathclyde area in the next few years. I suggest to my right 1519 hon. Friend that it is all very well telling us about the jobs coming in, but if we are to lose 70,000 jobs simply in order to stand still, there will have to be a greater emphasis on development than we have at the moment.
We need a new industrial base in the west of Scotland. Those who have the magazine Clydeport News will see that in the January issue, under the heading "Photonews", it states that:Trans-shipments of oil from VLCCs are commonplace nowadays in Clydeport—which is hardly surprising when the deep and sheltered estuary provides such ideal conditions for this kind of operation.The report goes on:The 326,000 dwt. 'Universe Korea' was discharging 41,000 tons of her crude oil cargo into the smaller tanker 'Tasman Sea'. The camera went aboard the Adrossan tug Ardneil', which was handling the large buoys ranged along one side of the 'Tasman Sea'.Here we have a situation in which oil tankers are arriving from all over the world to discharge and trans-ship their cargoes in the best sheltered estuary in Europe, and the only jobs we are getting involve sending a wee tug into Ardrossan harbour.
We are lucky if we get any jobs. The people getting the work are those who are taking part in the refining process, whether in England, in the east of Scotland, in Grangemouth, or in European ports. Why should we give this unique facility of a deep sheltered estuary that only we in Scotland have, to the multinational oil companies, when the only jobs we are getting in our area in Scotland are those connected with a small tug leaving Ardrossan harbour?
The Secretary of State has still not given a decision on the planning application of the Chevron Oil Company in relation to planning developments to build up an oil terminal or oil refineries in the Hunterston area. If my right hon. Friend wants investment, why stop these companies putting millions of pounds into the Hunterston area? This is where he is falling behind the Secretary of State for the Environment, who, on 1st January, when all the Scots were drinking or recuperating from the New Year, gave planning permission for another oil refinery in the Thames area. If that had been built at Hunterston, it would have
1520 provided 3,000 jobs in construction immediately, and eventually a new industrial base.
ICI has said that if it gets a closer source of supply as the byproduct of an oil refinery, it will extend its nylon plant at Ardeer, thus creating another 6001,000 jobs. But that is not happening, because my right hon. Friend has listened co SNP members in North Ayrshire and a handful of Tories in the constituency of the hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire.
My right hon. Friend should live up to his word. We need new investment and the industrial base that petrochemicals could give us. Scotland should be not a source of exploitation for the trans-shipment of oil—that is not where the jobs are; she should be an integral part of the oil industry in refining and in the spin-off of petrochemicals. The only future for the west of Scotland is in petrochemicals. I hope that my right hon. Friend will give the go-ahead for the building of the terminal and the refinery, which will go a long way to replacing the 70,000 jobs that the west of Scotland will lose between now and 1981.
§ Several Hon. Members rose—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Codman Irvine)
Order. The closing speeches will start at 9.20. More than 20 hon. Members still wish to speak. I leave the matter in the hands of the House.
§ 8.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Russell Fairgrieve (Aberdeenshire, West)
In what I hope will be a brief intervention, I shall have the temerity to give some personal background. Many hon. Members have had careers in other activities before they came here. Although I have been here only two years, I spent over 20 years in line management in Scottish industry. I do not know how many other hon. Members can say that.
It is proper nowadays to make a declaration of interest. During those 20 years I have been a director of two Scottish-registered firms—William Baird of Glasgow and Dawson International of Edinburgh. Both have branch factories in England. I am also on the executive of the Scottish Council (Development and Industry), a body made up of employers, 1521 trade unions, local authorities and many other facets of Scottish life. The hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford), who will be winding up the debate for the SNP, also had an honourable career with that body. In view of his knowledge of Scottish industry, I am at a loss to know how he will get through the bogus speech that he will undoubtedly make.
Like the hon. Gentleman, I too believe in devolution to Scotland of matters like education, local government and transport, but he knows as well as I do that industry and matters relating to the economy cannot be devolved. That is the weakness of the separatist case. The other things have been with us for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but industry as we know it started after the Union. The Industrial Revolution happened after the Union. There is no Scottish, English or Welsh economy, but only a British economy.
The list of firms registered in Scotland includes Scottish and Newcastle Brewers, Coats Patons, Stenhouse Holdings, Burmah Oil, House of Fraser and the Distillers Company. With separation, the current trading pattern of these British firms south of the border would be impossible. Therefore, industry and economic matters cannot be devolved to any part of Britain. We have only a British economy.
If it were not for that fact, there would be no motor industry in Scotland. Also, the largest concentration of electronic firms outside America is in Scotland—because we are part of the British economy. We in Scotland can have a separate Church and legal system but not a separate economy: there is only one British economy.
§ 8.35 p.m.
§ Mr. John Robertson (Paisley)
I shall not take up the comments of the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, West (Mr. Fairgrieve). As this is a short debate I want to concentrate on one subject only, but an important one affecting the whole of the Scottish economy and its ability to prosper, and that is the steel industry, which is in a state of manifest crisis.
Without a viable steel industry geared to the needs of manufacturing industry in Scotland and continuing to serve its traditional customers throughout the 1522 whole of the United Kingdom as well as abroad, there can be no Scottish economy worth discussing. It is a fundamental fact that the steel workers of Lanarkshire and Ayrshire have been trying to register that on the Government's mind for more than a few years. At present there is a large question mark hanging over the steel industry in Scotland. Continuing uncertainty, conflicting rumours and statements by the Government and spokesmen of the British Steel Corporation have reduced the morale of the steel workers to such an extent that they seem anxious only to get out of the industry, and to get out quick.
If the BSC were to offer redundancy pay, the queue would be so long that it is doubtful whether anybody would be left in the industry, and small wonder. The plans which the Corporation has put forward for discussion consign this industry to the scrap heap. Any scheme of rationalisation on a United Kingdom scale immediately threatens the existence of the Scottish plants, because they are the plants that have been woefully neglected and starved of investment where it matters most, and that is in retaining the general product character of the industry—its flexibility.
Because the Corporation—and therefore the Government—has willed it so, the Scottish plants are less efficient. They have the least modern plant. This is death by a process of slow strangulation. The Scottish steel industry was built up over a period of 100 years to become the most flexible and most diversified in the country, and it was able to meet the needs of its customers not only in Scotland but throughout the United Kingdom. It had an experience and skilled work force at all levels of operation, and there was a complex of steel-using industries in the surrounding areas all but a tiny fraction of whose raw material needs were being met by local Scottish steelworks. It was what the BSC now calls a jobbing industry.
The Corporation has been bitten by the bug of bigness, and yet even today it is the small flexible mini-steelworks that are the most successful. Any alteration to the pattern of production must not only mean a reduction in the number of steel plants and jobs but must put steel users in Scotland at a grave disadvantage.
1523 Without the wide range of steel products previously available from Scottish works, it will become exceedingly difficult to convince steel users to locate a factory in Scotland. The argument used by the Corporation for closing the works at Craigneuk was that most of that works' customers were in the Midlands and south of England and, therefore, there was an obvious advantage to both steelmakers and steel users in moving the production south. But the extension of that logic would leave Scotland without a steelworks and without a steel user.
The logic used by the Corporation is too narrow, and when applied causes excessive damage to communities and defies a rational Socialist, humane approach to economic management. The mandarins of the Corporation, the Treasury and the Government forget that industry is meant to serve people, not the people to serve the narrow objectives and myopic outlook of industrialists.
We can understand the Corporation's viewpoint. Since the pricing point system came into being, there are advantages in being located close to where steel is being made. If, however, there is no mill in Scotland producing any given product, the nearest mill is probably 250 or 300 miles away and a Scottish steel user has to transport the steel that distance and pay for the transportation. That is why it is so important to maintain an industry capable of producing a wide range of steel products.
We need a two-stage strategy. In the short term we must ensure the continuation of existing furnaces and mills. Some investment will be called for here to make the plants as efficient as possible. The re-routing of orders from Scottish works to works south of the border must stop. There must be a firm commitment by the Government that the Hunterston site will be fully developed as a major centre of crude steel production. With the development of Hunterston and the development of new electric are furnaces, the existing open hearth furnaces can be phased out. There must be a significant investment in more up-to-date rolling mills on existing inshore sites.
§ Mr. James Dempsey (Coatbridge and Airdrie)
My hon. Friend is making an 1524 interesting case for the development of a modernised steel complex, but can he say how many jobs would be lost in the process of phasing out?
§ Mr. Robertson
I cannot give the number of jobs, but it would be a good deal less than could be lost under the present strategy, as my hon. Friend will know, because almost the whole of the steel industry in Coatbridge and Airdrie has been lost.
There is a false belief that development at Hunterston will eliminate the Lanarkshire industry and that, conversely, development in Lanarkshire will cripple the Hunterston development. That need not be so. We need a strategy that uses both the potential of Hunterston and the generations of skill in Lanarkshire. My picture of a Scottish steel industry is one of the production of raw steel in quantity at Hunterston and the routing of primary mill products from there to the new finishing mills to be situated in the existing steel-making centre.
It is not necessary that Scotland should produce only for her own needs. It never was so. Luxembourg is an example of what is possible. Big is not always best. The importance of saving skill is more often than not overstated. That is why the emphasis for Scottish steel must be on flexibility and diversity of product. That is how we can create a basis for industrial expansion in Scotland.
It is easy to speak of regional plans during periods of industrial boom, but the real test of regional policies comes during periods of recession. If industry does not stick then, regional policies are a failure. If there is to be any industrial future for Scotland, the investment plans for the steel industry should be in operation now. They are needed now. We need firm decisions now, based upon a strategy that acknowledges the key rôle that steel plays, and always will play, in the Scottish economy. This strategy and the decisions based upon it have been lacking so far.
The Government can start laying the foundation for a Scottish economic recovery by showing the will to establish a new and up-to-date industry in Scotland. That is the test that the Scottish steel workers are setting the Government. We hope that they can pass it.
§ Mr. John Stokes (Halesowen and Stourbridge)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, is it possible for an English Member to catch your eye?
§ Mr. Dempsey
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As this debate is exclusively a debate on the Scottish economy, perhaps you will give preference to those Scottish Members who are anxious to take part in the debate?
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston (Inverness)
One of the unforutnate aspects of much of the debate so far is that it has been on a fairly acrimonious level. It is not that I do not agree entirely that the situation we face is very grave and difficult, and causes annoyance to a great many people. Unemployment is wholly unacceptable. In Scoltand it is at a serious level and it is understandable that people should feel strongly about it. Nevertheless, it is wrong to pretend that this situation can be wholly attributed to the previous Conservative Government, or to any one Government. It is inevitably composed of different factors, many of which have been mentioned already—for example, the effect of world-wide inflation and recession, the huge external borrowing requirement, the long legacy of non-investment, and so on.
However, it is insufficient for the Government, through the mouthpiece of the Secretary of State—whom I am sorry to see is not here, having taken 30 minutes out of a two-and-three quarter-hour debate, which is not reasonable for Front Bench speakers—simply to say that we are in this position because of the external situation. Undoubtedly the external situation has an effect, but it is by no means the only reason for Scotland, as a part of the United Kingdom having its present unemployment level and a decreasing degree of competitiveness not only in the steel industry, to which the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. Robertson) referred, but also in many other industries.
It is not good enough for the two major parties—if I am to accept the definition that the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) 1526 bestowed upon me as "a member of a minority party"—to disclaim responsibility when they were in the seat of power during the period which led up to our present circumstances—a situation in which Britain, Italy and Ireland are the poor men of the European Community, which we entered 15 years late. In face of that sort of record, it is hardly surprising that many Scots—it would appear from opinion polls, the majority of Scots—are beginning to question the Government's insistence that total control of the Scottish economy must remain in Whitehall and that any departure from it is absurd. Paragraph 131 of the White Paper, which deals with housing, says that rents must be controlled because general economic policy makes it necessary. I hardly think that changing the rents at Achiltibuie will bring down the British economy. This over-insistence upon central control is increasingly unpersuasive to many people, because of what has happened in the past. It was the Scottish National Party that called for this debate and it was right to do so, just as it is right to lament the economic record of the past.
However, we are compelled to ask whether the solutions that the Scottish National Party has to offer are more likely to succeed. It is not enough to demand independence for Scotland and then to say that the land will flow oil and honey.
There are two major problems. First, if we have large amounts of money—and the Secretary of State has already said that the whole basis of many of the poster campaigns is that we shall have large amounts of money and distribute them to various sectors of the community—the sudden distribution of that money in that way would have an immediate and possibly alarming effect on inflation in any economy. That fact has been overlooked.
Equally, and perhaps more importantly, if one has access to a large amount of investment, one cannot believe that it is possible to introduce new systems of economic and social management to improve industrial relations about which we are all concerned. That approach underestimates both the complexity of the problem and the tme scale necessary to resolve it. It will take some time for the problem to be absolutely resolved. It is foolish to suggest otherwise.
1527 While nationalism and emotionalism may work in politics—they seem to have done so far—they do not necessarily work in international industry and commerce, which require logic and results. I do not understand the argument advanced by the Secretary of State for Scotland that regionalism and independence are incompatible. If that is so, how can a European regional policy operate when it involves an institution in which several independent States work together?
It is true that there has been a decline in the ratio of unemployment in Scotland and in the rest of the United Kingdom. If North Sea oil had not been discovered, one wonders what would be the unemployment rate today in Scotland. North Sea oil has nothing to do with any Government. It is a fortuitous fact. At the early stage of the discovery and extraction process in the North Sea there was a failure—partly by private industry and partly by the Government, who take upon themselves the responsibility of trying to run the economy—in forecasting the needs of the oil industry, with the result that pipes, tubes, valves and pumps had to be ordered from overseas.
There is urgent need to reach agreement with the oil companies about the manning of oil platforms—a need that will remain until the end of the century. That is the stable fact of British industry. Where can school leavers look for an industry that it likely to have a settled, safe, fairly confident and expanding future? There are not many such industries. The oil industry is one industry in which a large number of people will be employed, and if we are not careful the oil companies will be left to bring in overseas labour to man the platforms.
These opportunities exist. It is not enough to say that regional policy will sort them out. Regional policy has been in operation for 30 years. The Highlands and Islands Development Board has been in operation for a decade, and the areas in the Highlands that were difficult 10 years ago are still difficult. The areas of high unemployment then are still areas of high unemployment.
One must be led to the conclusion that while, indubitably, these policies have mitigated the worst effects, they have not supplied the answer which many of us 1528 hoped and which Government spokesmen of the day suggested they might.
Time is against me. I have a great deal more that I should like to say, but I content myself by saying that all political parties should concentrate their energies and time on making the Government concentrate on creating retraining programmes for the new industries rather than dealing with the alleged successes of yesterday and the weaknesses of other political parties.
§ 8.55 p.m.
§ Mr. Norman Buchan (Renfrewshire, West)
I, too, shall attempt to be brief. I was prepared to make an hour-long speech but no doubt I shall have to confine myself to a few minutes. I shall pick up one or two points that have already been made and some other matters that are relevant to the present situation.
I have never heard a debate on the Scottish economy initiated by any party so ineptly. The hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) made various comparisons and asked certain questions. For example, he asked why the Scandinavian countries enjoyed a higher standard of living than Scotland without making an analysis of the different Scandinavian conditions. He asked why Scotland exports more per head than England without referring to the weak balance of trade situation. He spoke about Scotland being self-sufficient in food, but, as any farmer will know, that is another distorted picture. Although I rather like the hon. Gentleman, I must say that his speech was unadulterated rubbish. I am sorry to have to say that. I regard him rather as a good Hebridean nationalist than as a member of the Scottish National Party. If the Leader of the SNP represents his party's economic thinking, heaven help Scotland if it ever comes to power.
I deal briefly with the hon. Gentleman's Catch 22-type comments. No doubt it was prepared for him by the SNP research department. The comment is made that if something is done for Scotland in the way of jobs, such action is being taken for crude political reasons. However, if nothing is done and jobs are not provided, Westminster is in the wrong because it is neglecting Scotland. I reject the nonsense of that kind of view. It 1529 may be a very effective catch, but it is no more than a catch.
Along with that I deplore the 13-to14-year old level of behaviour that is displayed on the SNP Bench. It has been exhibited over the past year or more, but it was especially apparent during the speech of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. I have heard more intelligent comments from heckling 14year-olds. SNP Members must learn to think. Of course, they have failed to do that from the beginning.
It is difficult to determine the economic thinking of the SNP. It is difficult partly because SNP Members speak not with forked tongues but with triple tongues. They are all things to all men. On the one hand they say that we should conserve oil by limiting production to 50 million tons. However, they base their analysis of the use of these oil resources on 100 million tons. When we point out that if they grab all the oil for Scotland they cannot expect those who have helped them and have been willing to trade with them to continue to do so on the same terms, they say that they would negotiate the oil resources. However, that would further limit the amount of oil at their disposal. It may well be that they would reduce the 50 million tons to a negotiated level, but the resources which they put forward in their documents still stand at about 100 million tons.
The SNP is becoming a dishonest party,—deeply philosophically dishonest. It is regrettable that this is the best we can get, bearing in mind the great tradition of democratic intellect in Scotland. We even have an obscurity in the triple tongue because we are unable to find any economic analysis. At one stage we are told that it does not exist, that documents do not exist, but then we are told that the documents exist although the analysis will not be put into practice. I think that that was what the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) said in an earlier debate. He said that he doubted whether the SNP's economic analysis would ever be put into practice. When, however, his party's documents filtered through into the public consciousness, it was he who said that he stood by the documents and would defend them. Apparently the economic spokesman of the SNP was 1530 prepared to defend an economic policy that was not going to be put into practice. What worse kind of policy does the SNP intend to put into practice if it is not prepared to defend even this one?
I wish to take up two points that were made by my hon. Friends. My hon. Friend the Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Lambie) said that we could not expect other areas of Strathclyde to help in the great problem of the Glasgow area. He said that this should be a British problem. He was right in that view, because while saying that it is a British problem, to be solved with the aid of British resources, one cannot at the same time maintain a separatist viewpoint. My hon. Friend also recognises—he is a man of independent views—that when defending his own constituency on the subject of the aviation industry, he must support a proposition involving a totally British solution. If we were to have that kind of honesty from SNP Members, that would at least be one step forward.
My hon. Friend the Member for Paisley (Mr. Robertson) stressed the importance to Scotland of the steel industry. He, too, takes up a separatist viewpoint. We already know that the Scottish steel requirement is less than 10 per cent. of the total United Kingdom production.
§ Mr. Buchan
I said that the figure was less than 10 per cent. It is a matter of asking whether, when one takes away their share of oil resources, one can expect the steel workers in Scunthorpe to become unemployed in order to help the steel workers of Scotland.
§ Mr. Robertson
The use in Scotland in steel terms amounts to some 8 per cent., but before nationalisation the figure was 15 per cent. That percentage has been reduced only because of the rationalisation plans of the British Steel Corporation.
§ Mr. Buchan
This is a reflection of the basic problem of the Scottish economy and relates to the major heavy industries running down in the past. We know that in the decade 1961 to 1971 the heavy engineering, steel and shipbuilding industries lost 72,000 workers through natural reasons rather than as a result of 1531 deliberate Government policies. In that same period, with the aid of massive public expenditure, we managed to pull into the motor vehicle industry 19,000 jobs. At the same time we were running down heavy industry in a ratio of four to one to new industries. This is a basic problem and it is subject to the rapid change of events.
The Scottish National Party has suggested in one of these documents that the SNP wants to see Scotland developing as a Switzerland rather than as a Detroit. That kind of argument appears to envisage a Scottish economy based on the production of a kind of cuckoo-clock economy in which there is a limited use for steel. One cannot on the one hand fight for an expanded steel industry and at the same time try to develop an economy based on that kind of industry. The SNP must face up to facts.
I should like to take up one or two arguments on the question of devolution. It has been said that the Labour Party has broken its manifesto pledges on devolution in respect of the economy. I resigned from the Government because I disagreed with their policies; I am an expert on broken pledges. I do not know of any pledge in the manifesto or the White Pager in this connection which has been broken. I ask the Scottish Labour Party Members to point to the truth in their statement that the Government have broken their pledge. If they cannot do so, I ask them to withdraw their statement now. The answer is silence. I hope my hon. Friends will not associate themselves with the myth-making that has been practised by the Scottish National Party. It is not true to say that the manifesto pledge concerning the devolution of the economy has been broken by word or spirit.
§ Mr. Robertson
My hon. Friend is much cuter than I. He knows that if he says something in his constituency he will be held accountable for it. During the election campaign the official spokesman of the Labour Party in Scotland made pledges on television and radio. One of the official spokesmen for the Labour Party in Scotland was my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars).
§ Mr. Buchan
That is right. The only pledge which could be said to have been 1532 broken was given by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars).
§ Mr. Buchan
The answer which I was not given was to the question what pledge was broken in the manifesto.
§ Mr. Buchan
That is totally untrue. The pledges were not broken, as has been amply demonstrated. However, it could be said that they did not go far enough or too far. It could be said that the manifesto was bad or wrong. However, it cannot be said that pledges were broken.
I turn to the argument that more devolution is better. There comes a point at which more economic devolution turns upon itself. That point comes when we break away any Scottish influence or control over the United Kingdom economy. A good example is Chrysler. We could not have saved Chrysler in Scotland if we had not retained control over aspects of the total United Kingdom economy. We would lose 2,000 defence jobs in Bishopton tomorrow if we lost control over the United Kingdom economy. The Scottish National Party must face this situation.
I have no time, because of the length of necessary interventions about the truth, to develop what I believe is the basic malaise in the Scottish economy, a problem which is not divorced from the English and Welsh economies. We must start now on industrial reflation and investment. We must give guidelines to the banks regarding loans and the right guidelines for the best multiplier spin-off effects. We must have import controls for both Scotland and England. We must help to expose the myths and the lies which we hear so often from the Scottish National Party.
§ 9.4 p.m.
§ Miss Harvie Anderson (Renfrewshire, East)
In view of the time I shall make only a few comments, in the hope that someone else will have an opportunity to speak. My first point concerns the importance of the regional concept to Scotland. My second point concerns the myth of the exaggerated value of oil to Scotland.
Against the background of heavy industry which has had to be translated to more modern industry the Chrysler works were brought into Scotland as part of a regional policy. It may be that they are in severe trouble today but most hon. Members who are present tonight have no idea of the circumstances that existed in that part of Scotland at the time. The decision was made by the then Conservative Secretary of State. It was an exceedingly difficult political decision. I believed it to be right then and I believe it to be right now.
Let no one in this House, let alone this new and temporary party that is taking part in the debate, make any mistake; it is essential to operate a regional policy if we are to maintain the improvement in the economy which we have seen in recent years.
My second point concerns oil. In the recent difficulties regarding Chrysler, there has been more totally irresponsible reference to what oil and the finance flowing from it can do for Scotland than I could have thought possible. There are extremely difficult problems facing Chrysler today. Many of my hon. Friends deeply regret, as I do, the fact that the vast input of public money should still not be accepted as the last chance to manufacture motor cars in Scotland. The vast proportion of the work force wish this industry to continue and flourish. I hope that all workers in the Chrysler Corporation at Linwood and throughout Scotland—and the few ancillary undertakings—recognise that it is upon their performance alone that this industry will continue.
§ Miss Harvie Anderson
And management. I said "the work force". Curiously enough, when I use that phrase I include management, unions and the men on the shop floor. To tell the work force that it does not matter what happens because the proceeds from oil will main? 1534 tain employment in the car industry is absolute nonsense. The work force knows that is so. Those who use that argument so irresponsibly appear to be totally unaware of the investment requirement of an industry of this magnitude.
Let us be under no illusion. We in Scotland must maintain regional policy, and it can be sustained only through a United Kingdom effort. It is not possible for us to go it alone on revenue from oil.
§ 9.13 p.m.
§ Mr. William Hamilton (Fife, Central)
want to take up immediately the point made by the right hon. Member for Renfrewshire, East (Miss Harvie Anderson) about regional policy. Indeed, I take it a little further. We want not only a United Kingdom but a European regional policy. Indeed, the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mrs. Ewing) and I are members of a European Committee that is seeking to work out a European regional policy.
A few days ago I was approached by representatives of the Glasgow Herald, which is planning a £10 million extension. They asked me to contact Mr. George Thomson to see whether they could get aid from Europe. This evening I have put into the hands of the Lobby correspondent of the Glasgow Herald three letters from Mr. George Thomson indicating that aid might be obtained from Europe for extending the activities of the Glasgow Herald in Glasgow. This is the context in which we should see both the Scottish and the British economy.
We should get away from the parochial rubbish to which we were subjected at the beginning of the debate. We heard references to Scotland being self sufficient in food—like bananas, I suppose, and coffee and cocoa. I suppose we could produce it all if we wished to do so. One can produce everything at a price. But to use that kind of nonsensical argument is to insult the intelligence of the Scottish people.
Scotland is suffering from what the United Kingdom is suffering from—a world recession, created principally by the determination of the Third World to get fair returns for its natural resources, especially oil. The quadrupling of oil prices and increases in the prices of raw materials on which the British economy depends have thrown 1535 us out of joint. No matter what machinery of government is evolved in Edinburgh, or Cardiff, or anywhere else, there will continue to be a relentless redistribution of the world's wealth.
An international conference is now taking place on this theme. The Third World, on which industrialised nations have been so dependent for their raw materials and energy over the last 100 years, is determined to ensure that the days of exploitation are over. We have to see that Third World countries get their fair share, and that means that our standard of living cannot go up as fast as we have been accustomed to, if at all. If it is to go up, we must make ourselves more efficient. Every worker in every factory and industry must put his shoulder to the wheel, whether he is a Scot, an Irishman, or a German—because the Europeans have similar problems. They have unemployment and inflation. When SNP Members talk about the Norwegians, they should remember that boatloads of Norwegians come to Newcastle and Norwich every weekend to buy our cheap goods.
Even if oil revenue were flowing for Scotland tomorrow, the country would still have the problems that we face today. Inflation is a world problem, and we are doing as well as, if not better than, many of our competitors. There is irrefutable evidence that we are slowing down the rate of inflation which had been unacceptably and devastatingly high.
It is easy to berate the Government about the level of unemployment and say what a social and economic outrage it is, but we should remember that there are more than 5 million people unemployed in the EEC. To pretend that by some manipulation of the machinery of government or by setting up an institution in Scotland, whether a Parliament or an Assembly, we shall automatically or dramatically change the situation is simply to deceive people.
I do not believe that any responsible body in Scotland or anywhere else believes that these problems can be solved by cutting the United Kingdom into little bits and pieces. Over the past few weeks I have had interesting talks with the CBI 1536 in Scotland and with employers in Glenrothes, and with trade unions and Chambers of Commerce. None of them wants the kind of separation that the SNP stands for. They know that it is an integrated economy which simply cannot be split asunder.
I had an interesting experience a month or two ago at a meeting with the Scottish NFU. I now have the most enthusiastic supporters in the NFU in Central Fife, and I would not miss that meeting with the farmers for anything. I asked them what they thought about devolution and they said, "God forbid!" So the Scottish CBI, the Scottish TUC, the Scottish chambers of commerce and the Scottish NFU, all of them responsible bodies, all look at the national interest and all say that we need to stay together. And, by God, we do, more than ever.
We do ourselves an injustice by pretending that everything is black. The latest figures in the Department of Employment Gazette for January 1976 show the percentage rates of unemployment for the development areas and the special development areas. There are 14 of them throughout the United Kingdom. The table shows that Scotland has come out second best. Worst off is the North-West Wales special development area with an unemployment rate of 12.2 per cent. That was exactly twice the figure for the Scottish development area. The south-west of England development area has unemployment running at 10.4 per cent. Girvan has 9.3 per cent. and Merseyside 9.9 per cent. Those figures show that Scotland has nothing to be ashamed of.
I get the quarterly figures for Glenrothes in my constituency. The new towns have been the most successful social and economic experiment in Britain since the last war. Glenrothes is a glaring example of what can be done through regional policies applied on a United Kingdom basis. The National Coal Board spent £20 million at Glenrothes but then found that because of the geology it could not get one ton of coal out. People described it as a disaster area, but in retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened.
We have a greater diversifiction of industry there than almost anywhere in Scotland. As a result of the successive 1537 regional policies of United Kingdom Governments, there is a greater concentration of electronics industries in Fife than anywhere else in the world apart from California. Hardly anyone in this House knows that.
I received a letter from Brigadier Doyle of the Glenrothes Development Corporation which said:t am enclosing herewith the quarterly return for the end of September. The interesting thing about this is that despite the fact that some 214 people have been laid off from GEC our own loss over the quarter has only been 43. I think this is in line with the hope I expressed to you when you were up here last as I expected some of the other firms to expand and take up the slack. I think to have only lost 43 at this particular time is a good omen.And so it is. Nobody will deny the seriousness of the unemployment problem. Equally, I hope that no one will try to deceive the Scottish people into thinking that there is an easy way out. There is not. There is neither an easy way out nor a short way out in solving these problems.
We can talk about oil as we like. The Arabs will decide the value of that oil. Neither the Scots not the British Government in London will decide it. Who knows? We have tried to keep a floor price in Europe designed to protect our oil from the deprivations that can be imposed on us from outside by the Arabs. No mucking about with the machinery of government can deny that fact.
I have done my duty. I shall now sit down.
§ 9.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Douglas Crawford (Perth and East Perthshire)
The very fact that we are talking about the Scottish economy is in itself an advantage. A few years ago in Scotland the argument raged as to whether such a thing actually existed. The fact that we all agree now—apart from the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, West (Mr. Fairgrieve)—that a thing called the Scottish economy exists is a major step forward. It is a result of the excellent work done by the Scottish Council's research institute and the SNP and its research department.
I think that the existence of the United Kingdom economy, or a United Kingdom-managed economy, is largely a myth. The United Kingdom economy has been 1538 run as though the United Kingdom consisted of the area between Brighton and Birmingham and all other areas were categorised as misfits which needed to receive only grudging attention.
The Daily Mail said a month or two ago that the one thing that united the Conservative and Labour Parties in this House was the sight of an SNP Member on his or her feet. That is what it has been like tonight. The Conservatives have been quoting from a document which serves to prove the SNP case. It is a pity that the rules of the House suggest that the major Opposition party cannot sit on the Government Benches. That would have been the best place for Conservatives to sit tonight.
§ Mr. Crawford
There are two types of Unionists. There are those who are serious in their belief that the Scottish economy benefits from the fact that it is run from London and that it is under the thumb of the Treasury. They are woefully naive economically. Perhaps the tragic speech—I use the word "tragic "advisedly—of the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Lambie) exemplifies the tristesse of the Scottish economy today. Here is a man happy with the British connection but whose pleas fall on deaf ears, and his dreams for his constituency turn to nightmares.
§ Mr. Lambie
I am sure the hon. Gentleman will realise that the only reason why there is not prosperity in my area is that at the public inquiry on the developments at Hunterston the SNP gave evidence against the developments taking place.
§ Mr. Crawford
I was taking up the hon. Gentleman's point about a motorway from Irvine and the fact that he was not getting his request granted by the Secretary of State. I shall come to Hunterston shortly.
There are others in the House who pay lip service to the supposed benefits under the United Kingdom unitary economy. That is fair enough, but they should be designated as Britons and not Scots, because if they are doing down the Scottish economy in that way they do not deserve the name "Scots" and they are Britons and should be proud to be British for that reason. [Interruption.] 1539 It is important to get back to the initial meaning of the word "economy".
§ Mr. Speaker
I hope that no one will be called a racialist in this Chamber. Whatever anyone else has ruled, I consider it to be an unparliamentary expression.
§ Mr. Harry Gourlay (Kirkcaldy)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. From a sedentary position I said "That was a racialist statement". I did not call the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) a racialist.
§ Mr. Crawford
It is important to get back to the root of the word "economy", which comes from the Greek word for housekeeping—oikonomia—the business of feeding, clothing and heating ourselves. If we can feed, clothe and heat ourselves, our economy will be basically in balance. To have sufficient meat is more important than being able to understand the mysteries of M1 and M3. In spite of what hon. Gentlemen on the Government and Conservative Party Benches have said, we can feed ourselves. This is confirmed by the Edinburgh Junior Chamber of Commerce—hardly a mouthpiece of the Scottish National Party. It says that England has too large a population and has lost the cheap markets of empire—Lo, all thy pomp of yesterdayIs one with Nineveh and Tyre"—but the Scottish economy is basically in balance, and it was on an essentially balanced economy that the Scottish economy developed.
§ Mr. Ian Sproat (Aberdeen, South)
How can the hon. Member say that the Scottish economy is in balance when the Paymaster-General told us only two weeks ago that the deficit produced was roughly 10 per cent. of the GDP and that this means there was a deficit of £537 million?
§ Mr. Crawford
The Paymaster-General did not take into account the expenditure on English interests in Scotland, or agricultural subsidies, or higher social security benefits—of which we are not proud—or several other things. If the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) is on the side of the Paymaster-General, so be it, but Scotland had what was an essentially balance economy. It was on an essentially balanced economy that Scotland developed, but Scottish Labour did not, hence the ILP and Home Rule. Today's Labour Members in Scotland are a poor shadow of the Clydeside Home Rulers.
There may have been executive devolution both before and since then, and we have had the creation of the office of Secretary of State, and St. Andrew's House, as well as the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. But these have always been under the thumb of the Treasury. In later years the executive devolution was more than counterbalanced by the centralisation of nationalised and multinational industry.
The Report of the Scottish Council in 1969, on centralisation, is well known. The sad fact is that the Scottish Council has recognised that the situation has worsened since then. Increasingly, the effective decisions about investment in Scotland are made in London.
Private investment may not commend itself too much to Government Members, but at least Scotland was built up by Scottish enterprise. Today for Scottish enterprise we have substituted London bureaucracy and over-costing. Even today, Smiths Industries are bidding for McLellans of Glasgow, and the offer has been accepted.
It would be much better to have a Scottish oil corporation, a Scottish steel corporation, a Scottish electronics advisory authority, Scottish control over British Rail in Scotland, and a Scottish coal board. Then these nationalised industries would be accountable to the people of Scotland, who could do something about them.
The figure for unemployment in Norway is 1.3 per cent., and in Sweden it is F6 per cent. The Conservative Benches may not be interested, but we in Scotland are. The figure for Finland is 2.1 per cent., and for Austria, 2 per cent., but for Scotland it is 7 per cent.
1541 What kind of Government is it that is creating in Scotland a society for school leavers who cannot get an apprenticeship for two years—a society in which young men of ability and heart are having to emigrate? If this is regional policy, little can be said for it. No self-governing Scotland could do as badly as that.
I ask the people of Scotland whether they are happy with 7 per cent. unemployment or with short-term redundancy payments. They would, I am sure, rather have jobs that will give meaning to their lives. I am sure that they do not want an unemployment level of 7 per cent.
The Secretary of State for Scotland says that Scotland cannot be isolated from a world recession. His complacency, in the light of the Scandinavian, Austrian and Swiss figures, is shocking. Other hon. Members have said that this Government are using unemployment as a weapon against inflation. Shame on them, if that is the case. Shame on the party which, in 1974, said "Back to work with Labour."
If we are to be castigated for comparing Scotland with the English regions, we would say that both Scotland and England are nations and that we want to be compared with other nations. There are regions in Scotland with far worse unemployment than any region in England. I would ask the business community, the entrepreneurs, the company directors, the CBI and the chambers of commerce in Scotland whether they would rather have a bank rate of 10 per cent. or more or the rates prevailing in Europe, which are roughly half that. Do they want to pay more for the money they need for investment and employment? If they do, their shareholders and employees will want to know about it.
§ Mr. Crawford
I realise that the hon. Member for East Kilbride (Dr. Miller) must be rather impatient these days.
§ Mr. Crawford
The Secretary of State for Scotland has said that the SNP has claimed that a self-governing Scotland would have a strong Scottish pound. Would any business man rather have a health currency or a weak one? Is a healthy pound desirable or not?
I come now to the main point. In the debate on devolution my hon. Friend the Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. Reid) said that the fault with the Scottish economy was that it was the catspaw of the central demand management of the United Kingdom economy. If central demand management works at all—which is doubtful—it does so only where a country's geographical structural, commercial and industrial antennae are highly geared and industrial decision-making is properly decentralised. It works less badly in smaller economies than in large.
Whenever England caught an economic cold, Scotland got pneumonia. Scotland was so beat in any London-led recession that even when London got out of it, artificially or otherwise, Scotland had not pulled out of it by the time the next one came. It is not much better now. The hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) referred to the CBI survey in January. I refer him to its survey in January 1971, when his party was in power.
There has been too much talking about the Scottish economy, too many working parties, feasibility studies, study groups and cliches. On the committees of the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the Scottish Development Agency we see the same tired old faces.
We in the SNP are sick, tired and fed-up with hearing the Scottish TUC, the Scottish Labour Party and the CBI saying, whenever the unemployment figures come out "Something has to he done. Let us go to London and see the Prime Minister." Let us stop acting like Uriah Heep. The hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton) preened himself on the fact that representatives of the Glasgow Herald had approached him and asked whether they could raise £10 million in Europe. Should they not do it for themselves? Can we in Scotland not stand on our own feet for a change?
1543 The people should see that the only way to get something done is to do it themselves. We have the resources and the expertise and the labour in Scotland.
So what is to do? I agree entirely with the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. Robertson) about steel. He is more knowledgeable about that than I am. I admired his speech. He may or may not agree that one of the ways to achieve what he wants is to establish a Scottish steel corporation. British Rail, another nationalised industry, should become the agent of the Scottish Assembly, just as in the case of trunk roads the regions are the agents of the Secretary of State. There should be no more rail cuts. The Perth-Inverness line should be double-tracked. There should be regional rapid transit systems in Tayside, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The Glasgow-Ayr route should be electrified.
There is no problem in Scottish coal. As soon as the oil price goes up, as it assuredly will, coal will become competitive again. Scotland has no shortage of coal reserves at Airth and under the Forth.
The hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, West said that Scotland would not have an electronics industry but for the fact that we were part of the United Kingdom economy. That industry came to Scotland in spite of, not because of, the United Kingdom connection. It came because of the Scottish Council and the Ferranti electronics scheme in the late 1940s and early 1950s. We need to develop in Scotland an electronics components industry, possibly under a Scottish electronics advisory authority.
I say to the hon. Member for Bothwell (Mr. Hamilton) that we need more oversight of takeovers and partial takeovers. As the hon. Gentleman knows, Honeywell in his constituency has had its computer interests taken over by G. E. Bull, and there could be redundancies as a result of that.
§ Mr. James Hamilton (Bothwell)
I do not think it right that a statement should be made by someone who does not know the first thing about the situation in my constituency. The hon. Gentleman has made a statement for which he will be sorry, and he will be required to withdraw it because it is untrue.
§ Mr. Crawford
My reply to the hon. Gentleman is "Just wait and see". I am as sad about the situation as he is.
I was pleased to hear the Secretary of State for Scotland say in his opening remarks that the headquarters of the Scottish Development Agency would be in Scotland. I am delighted to hear that the SDA will not be impaired by lack of finance, and I hope that the Minister of State will be able to endorse that and say categorically that the SDA will have £300 million per annum.
We think that the SDA should have its operations decentralised throughout Scotland and internationalised throughout the world. We take up the point made by the lion. Member for North Angus and Mearns that there should be an arm of the SDA that would act as a venture capital fund. In that way we shall get new jobs and new industries under our control in Scotland.
Those are brief outlines of the vigorous, vibrant, mixed, socially aware and socially accountable economy which a self-governing Scotland will enjoy, and before them the murky, dim Scottish economy of today pales into insignificance. If Scotland's growth rate had shown a 1 per cent. improvement per annum more than it did over the past 30 years' our gross domestic product would have been up by about 33 per cent. Per capita it would mean that the gross domestic product in Scotland, instead of today's £1,400, would be approaching about £2,000. We could not have made a bigger mess of our own economy than London has made of it for us.
To London we say "Let us do our own thing". Let us, as John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural speech on the United States economy. [Interruption.] I am surprised that lion. Gentlemen are laughing at the name of John F. Kennedy. Let us in Scotland, as he said, be inspired by the lift of a rising dream. To the Government we in the SNP say "Resign. You have been abject failures, raising unemployment and depressing investment levels in Scotland to an unprecedented degree. Do the honourable thing, resign, and let the SNP put its economic plans to the judgment of the people of Scotland. Resign and let us have a General Election on the issue of the Scottish economy."
§ 9.43 p.m.
The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Mr. Bruce Milian)
I thought that the speech of the hon. Member for Western Isles (Mr. Stewart) in opening the debate was hardly equal to the occasion. He seemed to be reading somebody else's script. The trouble with the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) was that he was reading his own script.
I start from the point that unemployment in Scotland is far too high. It is a matter of the most serious concern. The latest figures are inflated by the inclusion, on a temporary basis as it happens, of students and a large number of school leavers, but even taking account of that we have very serious unemployment and I do not think it is any use anyone on the Government Bench pretending that that is not the case.
It is true, and it has to be said, that we are facing a deep world-wide recession, and it is not possible—I think the House has to accept this—for the United Kingdom economy to be completely isolated from that.
It happens that the Scottish record relative to the United Kingdom has been very good over the last 18 months or so. It is not true that there are some magical formulas, apparently the discovery of small countries in other parts of the world, which can isolate us from the present world recession, although that has been argued by the SNP spokesmen. The current Barclays Bank economic reports for a number of small countries have the following things to say about the present position:
Denmark:depressed level of activity … high unemployment.Finland:stagnating output … large foreign trade deficit … high rate of inflation.Eire:rapid inflation … rising unemployment … heavy trade deficit.Netherlands:general slowdown in activity … rather high unemployment.Norway:recessionary trends caused by fall in foreign demand … economic activity at a fairly low level … unemployment has risen significantly … large current account deficit.1546 Switzerland:weakening of demand … deterioration in balance of payments …I could go on to give a number of other examples.
The argument that if we created a separate Scottish economy we should solve our economic problems by that step alone is an economic absurdity. It pays no regard to the history of the Scottish economy. It also ignores the serious problems that all countries are facing today. That includes small independent countries as much as the United Kingdom. We shall not find a solution to the Scottish problem except in the context of United Kingdom reflation. My hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made the point, and I repeat, that no one would be happier than this Government if we were able to reflate. But we have serious economic problems, including the balance of payments and inflation, which must be solved before we can have the expansion which is the ultimate answer.
We have taken a number of measures to deal with the difficulties of unemployment. My right hon. Friend has mentioned some of them—the temporary employment subsidy, the recruitment subsidy, the job creation schemes and aid to the construction industry. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that he will be announcing further measures soon, and I understand that the announcement will be towards the end of next week.
The answer to our difficulties in Scotland, as well as the United Kingdom, must be to achieve a strong economic position which will enable the Government to take reflationary measures. It is true that the Scottish unemployment position has been strong compared with the rest of the United Kingdom. Relatively we have suffered less than other parts so that the unemployment relative between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, at 120, is the lowest it has ever been. We should take a certain amount of satisfaction from that. It is also true that over the years the gap between Scottish wages and United Kingdom wages has narrowed and has now virtually disappeared.
Why have we achieved these results? First, a good deal of the credit must go 1547 to regional policy. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made the point—this was not apparently wholly understood by some hon. Members—that we cannot have a regional policy except on a United Kingdom basis. Of course we can give incentives on a fragmented basis, but we cannot get the direction of industry, which comes from the negative control of investment certificates and the rest, without a United Kingdom policy on these matters. Anyone who has studied the post-war years and looked at the figures—my right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General gave some interesting figures in a Written Answer today—will realise that without the negative powers as well as the positive incentives we would not have been able to achieve the improvements in the relative economic position of Scotland that we have achieved since the end of the war.
Between 1960 and 1971, regional policy in Scotland generated between 70,000 to 80,000 new jobs.
Mr. Eric S. Heller (Liverpool, Walton)
I am sure my right hon. Friend is aware that during the period even of this Government London and Midland Members of Parliament have (made tremendous representations and complained bitterly that regional policy has sent industry to Scotland, the North of England, the North-West and so on. The truth is that we kept to our policy because we thought it was right.
Yes, and we should pay tribute to the London Members of this House who over the years have voted for regional policies which have been, in a sense, detrimental to their areas.
At present the relative disparities between different parts of Scotland are much greater—in any of the economic indicators that we care to choose—than the disparities between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Although Scottish Members have always been complacent and enthusiastic about the proposition that industry should be diverted from England and that there should be special assistance to direct economic activity from England to Scotland, I find very little enthusiasm among Scottish Members for the idea that priority should be given to particular parts of Scotland. Yet it happens to be 1548 the case that priority now has to be given to particular parts of Scotland. That is why, for example, the Government have said that the Scottish Development Agency must give priority to West-Central Scotland. I hope that that will be widely accepted in Scotland.
The second reason why we are in a relatively better employment position in Scotland today than in the past is the impact of North Sea oil. The number of jobs in Scotland, taking account of the multiplier effect, that have been generated both directly and indirectly as a result of North Sea oil is between 50,000 and 55,000. A good number of them have been a result of deliberate Government policy and the stimulus and encouragement through for example, the Offshore Supplies Office.
Although North Sea oil is the cornerstone of the political appeal of the Scottish National Party, it is ironic that its policy of reducing the exploitation of North Sea oil would automatically wipe out at a stroke a large number of the 55,000 jobs. If the rate of oil exploitation was slowed down to, say 50 per cent., which is the sort of figure we hear mentioned, there would be more than a 50 per cent. reduction in the number of jobs. I reckon that we would lose at least 30,000 North Sea oil jobs in Scotland if we adopted SNP policy.
Despite the relative improvement in unemployment, we still have formidable industrial problems in Scotland. But there is no major industrial problem in Scotland that can be solved solely in a Scottish context. That just cannot be done. That is not the point of view only of the Government. It is a point of view that is accepted by industry and the trade unions in Scotland. I meet representatives of the trade unions frequently to discuss industrial problems.
The description of what has happened in the steel industry by my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley (Mr. Robertson) was a grotesque account and quite unrealistic. There are plans for significant expansion of the industry in Scotland—which rest on Hunterston—and they would not make any sense and would not be possible except in the United Kingdom context. The adoption of a separatist policy for the Scottish steel industry would give us the run-down of 1549 the old plants—that is inevitable—but would not give us the build-up of Hunterston.
I take another recent industrial problem—Chrysler. It was impossible to solve the Chrysler problem through a Scottish solution alone. Members of the SNP do not understand that proposition, but the workers in the Linwood plant understand it very well. It was possible to solve the Chrysler problem only in a United Kingdom context.
To say, as the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire said, that Scotland could have a separate coal industry of great prosperity is to fly in the face of the facts. The Scottish coal industry has been one of the least financially prosperous areas of the National Coal Board for a long time. That is an unfortunate fact that would not go away because there was a separate Government. The financial and economic position is not magically transformed by a separate Government. The same is true of British Rail and of the Post Office. I understand that only yesterday Members of the SNP voted in favour of fragmenting the Post Office when they supported a Ten-Minute Bill.
With all these problems we have, of course, been concerned about the immediate difficulties. The Government cannot simply be concerned with long-term planning and ignore the immediate position. We have also had very much in mind the long-term needs of the Scottish economy. That is especially so in the case of the steel industry and is illustrated by the way in which we have developed our selective assistance policy generally. It is also illustrated by our policy of dispersing Civil Service jobs from London, confirmation of a major dispersal having been announced this week. That again makes sense only in the United Kingdom context and would be lost to a separate Scotland.
The need for long-term policies applies also to the Scottish Development Agency.
§ The hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire may bluster as much as he likes, but in Committee on the Scottish Development Agency Bill he voted against industrial powers being given to the SDA. I think that he was subsequently rebuked by his party for doing that. The hon. Gentleman put forward several slightly absurd propositions in Committee, some of which I gather he repeated this evening. Nothing that he said about the SDA, or about anything else, gives the slightest indication that the SNP either understands or has any solution to offer of Scotland's long-term economic problems.
§ Scotland's economic problems cannot be solved simply by North Sea oil. We repudiate the suggestion that the benefits of North Sea oil should go to Scotland. alone. Incidentally, that suggestion would cut out the Welsh, of which I hope Plaid Cymru has taken due account. Apart from the vulnerability of North Sea oil to price fluctuations, there would be major industrial problems. No one is suggesting that North Sea oil is other than a major resource which will be of great benefit to Scotland as well as to the rest of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put, but Mr. SPEAKER withheld his assent and declined then to put that Question.
I was about to say that the policy of the Scottish National Party on North Sea oil is basically the politics of resentment, and that is a very dangerous basis on which to govern Scotland or any other country.
Question put,That the salary of the Secretary of State for Scotland should be reduced by the sum of £1,000:—
§ The House divided: Ayes, 213, Noes 235.1551
|Division No. 55.]||AYES||[10.00 p.m.|
|Alison, Michael||Benyon, W.||Braine, Sir Bernard|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Berry, Hon Anthony||Brittan, Leon|
|Arnold, Tom||Biffen, John||Brotherton, Michael|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Biggs-Davison, John||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)|
|Bain, Mrs Margaret||Blaker, Peter||Bryan, Sir Paul|
|Baker, Kenneth||Boscawen, Hon Robert||Buchanan-Smith, Alick|
|Banks, Robert||Bottomley, Peter||Budgen, Nick|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Burden, F. A.|
|Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham)||Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)||Raison, Timothy|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Jessel, Toby||Rathbone, Tim|
|Channon, Paul||Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)||Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Jopling, Michael||Reid, George|
|Clegg, Walter||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)|
|Cockcroft, John||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)|
|Cope, John||Kershaw, Anthony||Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|Cormack, Patrick||King, Evelyn (South Dorset)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Corrie, John||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rifkind, Malcolm|
|Costain, A. P.||Kitson, Sir Timothy||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)|
|Crawford, Douglas||Knox, David||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Crouch, David||Lamont, Norman||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Lawrence, Ivan||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Dean, Paul (N Somerset)||Lawson, Nigel||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Le Merchant, Spencer||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Drayson, Burnaby||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Durant, Tony||Lloyd, Ian||Shepherd, Colin|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||Loveridge, John||Silvester, Fred|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Luce, Richard||Sims, Roger|
|Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)||MacCormick, lain||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||McCrindle, Robert||Speed, Keith|
|Farr, John||Macfarlane, Neil||Spence, John|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey||MacGregor, John||Stanley, John|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)|
|Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)||Madel, David||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Fox, Marcus||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Freud, Clement||Marten, Neil||Stokes, John|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Mather, Carol||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Maude, Angus||Tapsell, Peter|
|Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham)||Mawby, Ray||Tebbit, Norman|
|Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Mayhew, Patrick||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Godber, Rt Hon Joseph||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mills, Peter||Thompson, George|
|Goodhew, Victor||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Townsend, Cyril D.|
|Goodlad, Alastair||Moate, Roger||Trotter Neville|
|Gorst, John||Moore, John (Croydon C)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||Morgan, Geraint||Vaughan, Dr Gerard|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow C)||Morris, Michael (Northampton S)||Viggers, Peter|
|Gray, Hamish||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Wakeham, John|
|Griffiths, Eldon||Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Grist, Ian||Neave, Airey||Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)|
|Grylis, Michael||Nelson, Anthony||Wall, Patrick|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Neubert, Michael||Walters, Dennis|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Newton, Tony||Warren, Kenneth|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Nott, John||Watt, Hamish|
|Hannam, John||Onslow, Cranley||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss||Oppenheim, Mrs Sally||Wells, John|
|Hawkins, Paul||Page, John (Harrow West)||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Heseltine, Michael||Parkinson, Cecil||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Hicks, Robert||Pattie, Geoffrey||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Penhaligon, David||Younger, Hon George|
|Holland, Philip||Percival, Ian|
|Hordern, Peter||Pink, R. Bonner||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Mr. Andrew Welsh and|
|Hunt, John||Prior, Rt Hon James||Mr. Douglas Henderson.|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Abse, Leo||Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur||Cartwright, John|
|Allaun, Frank||Boyden, James (Bish Auck)||Castle, Rt Hon Barbara.|
|Anderson, Donald||Bradford, Rev Robert||Clemitson, Ivor|
|Archer, Peter||Bray, Dr Jeremy||Cocks, Michael (Bristol S)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Cohen, Stanley|
|Ashton, Joe||Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Coleman, Donald|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)||Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen|
|Atkinson, Norman||Buchan, Norman||Concannon, J. D.|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Buchanan, Richard||Conlan, Bernard|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green)||Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)|
|Bean, R. E.||Callaghan, Rt Hon J. Cardiff SE)||Corbett, Robin|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Catlaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Cox, Thomas (Tooting)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Campbell, Ian||Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Canavan, Dennis||Crawshaw, Richard|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Carmichael, Nell||Cronin, John|
|Boardman. H.||Carter, Ray||Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony|
|Booth, Albert||Carter-Jones, Lewis||Cryer, Bob|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Kinnock, Neil||Rooker, J. W.|
|Davidson, Arthur||Lambie, David||Rose, Paul B.|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||Lamborn, Harry||Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)|
|Davies, Denzil (Lanelli)||Lamond, James||Rowlands, Ted|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Leadbitter, Ted||Sandelson, Neville|
|Deakins, Eric||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Lipton, Marcus||Selby, Harry|
|Delargy, Hugh||Litterick, Tom||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Luard, Evan||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)|
|Dempsey, James||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Dormand, J. D.||McCartney, Hugh||Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||McElhone, Frank||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)|
|Dunn, James A.||McGuire, Michael (Ince)||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Eadie, Alex||Mackenzie, Gregor||Silverman, Julius|
|Edge, Geoff||Mackintosh, John P.||Skinner, Dennis|
|Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)||Maclennan, Robert||Small, William|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)|
|Ennals, David||McNamara, Kevin||Snape, Peter|
|Evans, loan (Aberdare)||Madden, Max||Spearing, Nigel|
|Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Magee, Bryan||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Flannery, Martin||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Stallard, A. W.|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marks, Kenneth||Stoddart, David|
|Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||Stonehouse, Rt Hon John|
|Ford, Ben||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Stott, Roger|
|Forrester, John||Mason, Rt Hon Roy||Strang, Gavin|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Maynard, Miss Joan||Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.|
|Freeson, Reginald||Meacher, Michael||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Mellish, Rt Hon Robert||Swain, Thomas|
|George, Bruce||Mendelson, John||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Gilbert, Dr John||Mikardo, Ian||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Ginsburg, David||Millan, Bruce||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|Golding, John||Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|Gould, Bryan||Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N)||Tierney, Sydney|
|Gourlay, Harry||Molloy, William||Tinn, James|
|Graham, Ted||Moonman, Eric||Tomney, Frank|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Torney, Tom|
|Grocott, Bruce||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hardy, Peter||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Moyle, Roland||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Hart, Rt Hon Judith||Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hayman, Mrs Helene||Newens, Stanley||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Ogden, Eric||Ward, Michael|
|Hooley, Frank||O'Halloran, Michael||Watkins, David|
|Horam, John||O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian||Watkinson, John|
|Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Weetch, Ken|
|Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)||Ovenden, John||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Padley, Walter||White, James (Pollok)|
|Hunter, Adam||Palmer, Arthur||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)||Park, George||Whitlock, William|
|Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)||Parry, Robert||Williams, Alan (Swansea W)|
|Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)||Pavitt, Laurie||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)||Pendry, Tom||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Janner, Greville||Perry, Ernest||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Jay, Rt Hon Douglas||Phipps, Dr Colin||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg||Woof, Robert|
|Johnson, James (Hull West)||Price, William (Rugby)||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Radice, Giles||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Kaufman, Gerald||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)||Mr. James Hamilton and|
|Kerr, Russell||Rodgers, George (Chorley)||Mr. Joseph Harper.|
|Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Question accordingly negatived.|