asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed his consideration of the information about the economic position given him by the deputation from part of the Seventh District Council of the County of Lanark; and if he will make a statement.
I am sorry that I am not yet in a position to make a statement, but I can assure the hon. Lady that I am giving very careful consideration to the position at Shotts. If I am able to say more during the Recess, I shall write to her.
Has the Secretary of State, since he received that deputation, had serious discussions with his right hon. Friends the President of the Board of Trade and the Minister of Labour? Is he aware that in this area most of the unemployed, both men and women, are long-term unemployed and have waited a very long time for Government action?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Ministry of Labour figures of unemployment, published yesterday, which show Scotland has the only region in Britain with an increase in unemployment in the past month, are further evidence of the lamentable failure of the Government to deal with unemployment in Scotland?
I do not accept that at all. I much regret that our figures are up by 300, but the hon. Member knows very well that efforts have been made and are having a measure of success at a difficult time in encouraging new industry to come to Scotland.