HC Deb 24 October 1979 vol 972 cc412-3
13. Mr. Ancram

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he plans next to meet the Trades Union Congress and the Scottish Confederation of British Industry.

Mr. Younger

As I have already indicated to the bodies concerned, I intend to have regular meetings with the Scottish Trades Union Congress and the CBI (Scotland).

Mr. Ancram

When my right hon. Friend meets them, will he discuss with them the lessons to be learned for the whole of Scotland from the recent tragic closure of the Singer factory at Clydebank? In particular, will he discuss with them the advantages to the workforce of accepting inevitable closures of this kind quickly, so that joint action between the Government and trade unions can be started to produce replacement jobs as soon as possible? Would he also like to comment on the ill-conceived and unhelpful intervention of the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Craigton (Mr. Millan) in trying to persuade the workforce to resist the closure?

Mr. Younger

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I am very concerned about the situation at Clydebank and I have assured all concerned that I and my hon. Friend will do all that we can to help in that area. I am meeting representatives of the STUC and the Clydebank shop stewards tomorrow, and I look forward to an exchange of views with them.

Mr. O'Neill

When the Minister sees the representatives of the STUC will he be able to give them an assurance that the abandonment of exchange control regulations will not have a detrimental effect on the 116,000 workers who are employed by foreign companies in Scotland and who are likely to leave if any change in the industrial climate continues in this country?

Mr. Younger

I do not think that the removal of exchange control regulations will have any effect on those employed in Scotland. Indeed, it will have a beneficial effect on the economy as a whole.

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