Bathgate (Contracts)

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Postmaster-General what directives he has recently issued to provide for the purchase of goods by his Department in areas of high unemployment, such as Bathgate.

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

The contract preference arrangements which applied to firms in development districts have now been extended to the development areas introduced by the Development Areas Order, 1966.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

What is the value of these purchases in the Bathgate area?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

In the Bathgate employment exchange area, £230,000 this year.

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

Would the right hon. Gentleman confirm that all telephone exchange equipment is still bought from a small ring of manufacturers? Are there any manufacturers in the development areas which could accept these orders if they were accepted into the ring?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

I am afraid that, without notice, I cannot answer the second part of that Question.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, thanks to the Government's policies for the development areas, we now have in Fife some massive new industry which will provide further Post Office equipment and that we are very grateful to the Government for it?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

I should say, perhaps, that the orders placed in Scotland this year so far amount to £5,750,000.

Photo of Mr James Allason Mr James Allason , Hemel Hempstead

Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider his decision to accept Japanese equipment in Post Office orders?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

I think that the only Japanese equipment, so far as I recollect —I have had no notice of this—is a small component in something which we buy from a British firm.