Highlands (Industrial Plant and Factories)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th January 1959.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr David Robertson Mr David Robertson , Caithness and Sutherland 12:00 am, 29th January 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new industrial plants or factories have been opened since March, 1957, in the Highland area; where they are located; and what was the total number of persons employed in them at 12th January.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Six new factories and two extensions to existing factories. Five of these are in Inverness, two in Dunoon and one on the Isle of Mull. Employment is at present 121 and should be approximately 220 when all the projects are fully developed.

Photo of Mr David Robertson Mr David Robertson , Caithness and Sutherland

Am I right in suggesting to the President of the Board of Trade that these figures cannot encourage him, any more than they encourage me? Does my right hon. Friend know that serious unemployment prevails in the Highlands, including the Wick area, which is running at a rate of 20 per cent.? Does my right hon. Friend recall rejecting a North of Scotland Development Bill two years ago, which was designed to meet this very situation?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I know the difficulties in the Highlands and it is not easy to get firms to start there. My personal opinion is that the encouragement of the tourist industry is probably the best way to help this region.