HC Deb 24 February 1982 vol 18 c851
10. Mr. James Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to visit the offices of the Scottish Development Agency in Glasgow.

Mr. Fletcher

My right hon. Friend's next visit to the agency's office in Glasgow is likely to be sometime in March, when he will chair a meeting of the Locate in Scotland steering group.

Mr. Hamilton

When the hon. Gentleman visits the offices will he take to task the people at the SDA who are reported to be spending £700,000 on refurbishing and expanding those offices? Does not the hon. Gentleman think that that is a downright scandal, bearing in mind the numbers of employers who look for an advancement from the SDA? Does he realise that reports yesterday said that the construction industry is in the worst state that it has ever been in the history of Scotland? Is it not time to do something?

Mr. Fletcher

Proposals to improve the accommodation at Bothwell Street in Glasgow are at an early stage, and my right hon. Friend will be consulted before any decision is taken. As the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends, like Government Members, fully support the SDA in its work, they must agree that it must have proper accommodation to carry out the duties that both sides of the House consider to be most important.

Mr. Bill Walker

When my hon. Friend visits the SDA will he take the opportunity to discuss with the officials there the defence 'expenditure that will arise from the Trident base and ensure that the SDA is ascertaining properly and fully from the Property Services Agency that Scottish consultant engineers and contractors will be given the opportunity to quote for the many jobs in the development?

Mr. Fletcher

I agree with my hon. Friend, but that is a matter not for the SDA but for the Scottish Office and the Ministry of Defence.