asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied that the existing machinery, by which Her Majesty's Government ensures that areas having high unemployment following the decline in the older industries are given priority in the siting of industrial estates, is adequate; and if he will make a statement.
Decisions about the siting of new Government industrial estates are taken by the Board of Trade who naturally consult the other Departments concerned. In Scotland these include the Scottish Office, the Ministry of Labour and the Board of Trade's Office in Scotland, as well as the Industrial Estates Management Corporation for Scotland. In deciding on the location of an industrial estate the Board of Trade have to take account not only of the level of unemployment but also the existence of good communications, the availability of suitable building land and the attractiveness of the area to expanding industry.
Is the Prime Minister aware that there are large areas in Lanarkshire which have suffered very greatly indeed from the closure of pits and foundries and that no alternative industry whatever has been brought to that area? Is he also aware that in some parts there is very great difficulty in getting to any other project which the Board of Trade has brought there? Will he use his influence to ensure that those areas are not neglected and that industrial estates will be built in them?
Two advance factories are now building in the hon. Lady's constituency, and there are other Board of Trade industrial estates within reasonable travelling distance. We now intend to set up a new Government industrial estate in North Lanarkshire. The question is to get the best site to meet all the purposes which I described.
Does the Prime Minister recognise that there is a great deal of despondency and disappointment where there is siting and a definite promise but no employment or factories result from the siting? Will he do something to encourage Ministers to pay more attention to this aspect?
Two advance factories are now building in that constituency. That is not a promise, but the carrying out of a promise. The question of the next industrial estate is one on which I think ail hon. Members feel that it is very important to get the right siting from all the different points of view—not only unemployment, but facilities and the likelihood of it being attractive and making a success of it.