HC Deb 05 December 1960 vol 631 c124W
Mr. G. Roberts

asked the Minister of Works what degree of financial assistance, and what advisory assistance, has been extended since 1945 to slate quarries in Scotland, particularly in Argyllshire; and by what authority, or regulation, such assistance was given.

Lord John Hope

After an investigation sponsored by the then Scottish Development Council certain slate quarry firms in the Western Highlands merged to form a new company called Scottish Slate Industries Ltd., in 1947. Under its Articles of Association the Chairman and Technical Director were nominees of the Minister of Works. £25,000 capital was raised by the shareholders and a loan of £125,000 was made available from the Building Materials and Housing Fund under the Building Materials and Housing Act, 1945. The Fund was closed in 1954.

As the company was not able to operate profitably and to meet the conditions of the loan its assets were sold in 1956. After taking into account the purchase price and also the repayments previously made by the company the Building Materials and Housing Fund incurred a loss of £56,228.