§ Mr. Maclennan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the rôle of the Highlands and Islands Development Board in the operation of Afocal Limited in Barra and Campbelltown.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
In 1967 the Board gave grants and loans to this company for its Barra project. In 1968 the Board proposed, after investigation and appraisal, that the Campbelltown project should be assisted, and this proposal was approved on behalf of the Secretary of State.
Earlier this year the Board, reporting that the company was in difficulties, proposed that independent management consultants should be called in, and that a provisional liquidator should be given funds to keep the company going while the consultants made their investigations. This also was approved by the previous Government in May. In the light of the report of these investigations I decided in September, after there had been discussions with the Board, that further help from public funds would not be justified, and the liquidator is now winding the company up.
I greatly regret that these projects have not in fact fulfilled their earlier apparent promise.