HC Deb 25 February 1998 vol 307 c367
Q12. Sir Robert Smith

When he will next visit the north-east of Scotland.

The Prime Minister

I am afraid that I have no immediate plans to visit the hon. Gentleman's constituency.

Sir Robert Smith

I am obviously sorry that the Prime Minister cannot see the delights of the north-east of Scotland, but I hope that he can tell me the Government's view of the importance of the oil industry to the economy of this country and the north-east of Scotland in particular. Will he send a message to the many small and medium businesses that contract to the industry and are building a very important export market that he wants the industry to thrive and grow, and that they should have the confidence to invest and expand?

The Prime Minister

I certainly want the industry to thrive and grow. The hon. Gentleman will remember that the last Labour Government started the oil industry and put it on its feet. Of course we want both the jobs and the benefits which investment in that industry brings.

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