§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions his Department has had with the Caterpillar Tractor Company about its future plans in the light of the redundancies announced at its Uddingston plant; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lang
At a meeting on 20 January my right hon. and learned Friend conveyed to senior representatives of the company the Government's concern at the announcement of its intention to close the Uddingston plant. This development was in strong contrast with the company's statement last September that the plant was a "Plant with a Future" and would be the subject of a £62.5 million investment programme. My right hon. and learned Friend formally asked that the closure decision should be reconsidered. A meeting with my officials took place on 2 February at which the company gave further details of the background to the closure decision. A telex from the company president reconfirming the closure decision was received on 3 February. My right Hon. and learned Friend has made clear his disappointment at this news but has also underlined his continuing readiness to consider any proposal to retain viable manufacturing and employment at the Uddingston facility.