HC Deb 24 May 1995 vol 260 cc903-4
22. Dr. Reid

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the chairman of Scottish Enterprise to discuss the Scottish economy; and if he will make a statement. [24246]

Mr. Kynoch

My right hon. Friend last met the chairman of Scottish Enterprise to discuss economic issues on 1 March 1995.

Dr. Reid

Is it not crucial for the Scottish economy to maintain and develop research and development and skilled jobs at the forefront of technology? In the light of that, what does the Minister have to say to those Rolls-Royce workers who are today in London to protest against not only the loss of 600 skilled jobs but the transfer of technology out of Scotland and possibly out of Britain? Is it not a damning indictment of the Government's inactivity and uninterest that they have stood idly by while those jobs and that potential have disappeared from Scotland?

Mr. Kynoch

Obviously, no one likes to see jobs go. Unfortunately, Rolls-Royce has had to face the conditions that are prevalent in the aerospace industry. The hon. Gentleman is perfectly well aware of the much larger job losses that are suffered elsewhere within that industry. The Government believe in ensuring that the right economic conditions are in place to guarantee continuing drops in unemployment, continuing increases in inward investment and the best possible employment prospects for the people of Scotland in the future.