HC Deb 18 July 1984 vol 64 cc303-4
7. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his discussions with the North British Steel foundry, Bathgate.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. George Younger)

My officials in the Industry Department for Scotland have had discussions with the company about the proposal to concentrate production at Armadale, and have drawn attention to the Government's willingness to assist with any investment proposals designed to ensure the firm's long-term viability. I understand that the company is also having discussions with the SDA.

Mr. Dalyell

All credit to the late Ian Menzies for the reinvestment policies of MacBeth Menzies. Is there a more modern technical casting plant in the whole of Europe? Will the Secretary of State use his influence as a Cabinet Minister to obtain a favourable outcome to the meeting between George House, AUEW representatives, members of the company and his ministerial trade colleagues at 11.15 am on Monday?

Mr. Younger

I am well aware of the importance of this matter. I am also well aware of the meeting, and I very much hope that it will be successful. I shall draw the matter to the attention of my hon. Friend.

Mr. Ewing

Is the Secretary of State aware that it would be very helpful to the North British Steel foundry in Bathgate and, indeed, to the whole of the steel foundry and the iron foundry industry, if he would make representations to his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry insisting that export quotas should be applied to the export of scrap steel? Is the Secretary of State aware that the cost of scrap steel to the North British Steel foundry at Bathgate and, indeed, to all the foundries, has risen from £30 to £80 per tonne during the course of this year because his right hon. Friend refuses to apply extra quotas?

Mr. Younger

I am aware that that is one of the problems that the company has been considering. I have no doubt that this will be covered in the coming discussions.