HC Deb 22 February 1995 vol 255 cc353-4
19. Mrs. Adams

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to meet representatives of the Scottish Trades Union Congress to discuss manufacturing industry in Scotland.

Mr. Kynoch

My right hon. Friend meets representatives of the Scottish TUC from time to time to discuss a range of matters concerning the Scottish economy.

Mrs. Adams

Does the Minister realise that, since his party came to power in 1979, my constituency has lost some 80 per cent. of its manufacturing jobs? In the light of his inadequate answer to my hon. Friends the Members for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Mr. McKelvey) and for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galloway), when will the Government realise that a strong economy cannot be built by people selling each other hamburgers? It will be built only when the Government start to deal with the disasters that have taken place in manufacturing industry.

Mr. Kynoch

I hoped that the hon. Lady might have welcomed the fact that, last month, Babcock Energy Ltd. in her constituency announced that the jobs of its 700-strong work force would be secured as a result of a £125 million order for boilers from a power station in China. She is doing her businesses a great disservice by selling Scotland down the river.

Mr. Ingram

Does the Minister accept that that is the most complacent answer that he could possibly give on one of the key issues facing Scotland? Since the Government came to power, 50 per cent. of all aerospace jobs have been lost to the Scottish economy. Is he aware that Rolls-Royce intends to cut another 600 highly skilled jobs in that economy? Why have the Government remained silent on that announcement? Is it because they do not understand its impact, because they do not care, or both?

Mr. Kynoch

The hon. Gentleman must place the changes in Rolls-Royce in the context of world affairs. He might be interested to know that Rolls-Royce is not alone in its problems. Its two major competitors, General Electric and Pratt and Whitney, have made massive job cuts, including 14,000 redundancies that were announced in 1993. At the same time, Boeing announced 80,000 job losses. He might also like to know that Rolls-Royce in East Kilbride has recently announced two major, long-term repair and maintenance contracts with Cyprus Airways and China Eastern Airlines. The hon. Gentleman should start talking Scottish prospects up rather than down.

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