Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1959.
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now identify the sites suitable for industry at Douglas and Douglas, West, in the county of Lanark.
Before I can say which sites would be suitable for industrial use I need certain further information from the County Council. I will let my hon. Friend know immediately this is received.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that 70 houses, of which 50 are subsidised, are now standing empty? Will my right hon. Friend take steps to draw this facility to the attention of industrialists who may be considering the expansion or transfer of their factories so that they can take advantage of this and bring industry to this village which is losing half its employment and a third of its people in a matter of months?
I will. As soon as we get information about the facilities and services available to these sites, we shall be able to talk to industrialists.
May I ask whether the Government are taking note of the kind of cases mentioned by the hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Patrick Maitland)? This is a case of the closure of a pit upon which a village is entirely dependent which, when closed, throws the whole community into distress. Are the Government giving attention to this matter, and is the right hon. Gentleman's Department consulting with the Ministry of Power to ensure that when pits are closed they have plans to foster alternative industries?
We also keep in touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour in this matter. We have identified several sites in this area and I hope that very soon these sites will be equipped with facilities which we shall be able to offer.
Mr. H. Wilson:
In view of the failure of the Government to deal with questions of this kind in relation to coal sufficiently in advance, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that when it comes to closing cotton mills under the Government's policy he will bear in mind the lessons of what has happened in the coal industry?