Orders of the Day — Problems of the Regions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus 12:00 am, 24th April 1967

What the hon. Gentleman does not seem to be aware of is that his right hon. Friends said that they would cure these problems, yet we see them getting worse. The level of emigration has never been anything like as high as it is today.

What I find unforgivable about this experience is that I cannot see that it will solve our problems at all. We shall not solve our balance of payments difficulties by deflating and creating additional unemployment in Scotland. All that we do is to hit investment and thereby ensure that we sow the seeds of the next balance of payments crisis with the one that we are trying to escape from now.

Sooner or later we have to be prepared to tackle the balance of payments restraint on our ability to expand. I believe that this must mean a willingness to look again at the whole question of the exchange rate. I do not accept that anybody in Scotland should be driven to emigrate or to lose his job so that the Prime Minister can go to his grave with the words 2 dollars 80 cents written on his heart.