Forth Road Bridge

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

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Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the increasing unemployment problem in the country, he will take measures to expedite the beginning of the Forth Road Bridge construction.

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

The Forth Road Bridge Joint Board invited tenders for foundations to the central piers of this bridge and for the cable anchorages in December and it is hoped that work will start as soon as possible after the tenders have been received.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Can the Minister indicate whether there is any possibility at all of speeding up the preliminary work, because the unemployment position is becoming increasingly serious? Is he aware that in the last six months, for instance, four factories in Fife alone have closed down and that unemployment figures in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area are the highest for ten years? Will he do something, if not with the bridge, then by other means, to attract industry to the area?

Photo of Mr Niall Macpherson Mr Niall Macpherson , Dumfriesshire

I am not certain that there is much scope for accelerating the process that has already been set on foot, but I should say that the hon. Gentleman should not exaggerate the possibilities of employment arising out of the construction of the Forth Bridge. I am informed that not more than 40 local unskilled men are likely to find work in the construction of the bridge during the first two years of its construction.