North American Firms, Scotland

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd July 1959.

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Photo of Mr David Robertson Mr David Robertson , Caithness and Sutherland 12:00 am, 23rd July 1959

asked the President of the Board of Trade why he finds it difficult to attract North American industrialists to Scotland, in view of the fact that production costs there are much less than in the United States of America and Canada, that profitable European sales can be made at selling prices up to 40 per cent. below those prevailing in North America, and that skilled and unskilled labour is available.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Since the war, thirty-two North American firms currently employing at least 18,000 people have been established in Scotland. Ten of these have come in the last three years. The advantages which Scotland has to offer are becoming more widely known in the United States and Canada.

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

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware of Scotland's great need for diversification of industry and of her very serious unemployment, which is almost double that of England? Is he aware that sometimes in constituencies like mine there are 20 men unemployed to one man unemployed in London?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Yes, Sir, and we are taking special steps to assist those who are publicising the advantages of Scotland among American manufacturers.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all those North American firms which have come to Scotland have expressed themselves delighted with the quality of labour and workmanship which they get there? Can he take steps to make that known to other firms wanting to set up businesses in Europe?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

We are doing that, and I think that the arrangements recently made in Stockholm will help us to get American firms to go to Scotland.

Photo of Sir John Macleod Sir John Macleod , Ross and Cromarty

Will my right hon. Friend also remember that Invergordon is nearer by sea and air to many North American ports than to ports in the industrial South?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

We will bring that to the notice of all those undertaking this propaganda in North America.