Unemployment (Glasgow)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th May 1971.

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3.10 p.m.

Photo of Mr Frank McElhone Mr Frank McElhone , Glasgow Gorbals

In thanking you, Mr. Speaker, most sincerely for the privilege of debating the question of unemployment in Glasgow, I may say to you and to the Minister that it is somewhat ironical that nearly 50 years ago one of my illustrious predecessors, George Buchanan, was sent from the city to fight and argue in some of the same troubles we are facing today. A group of elderly people in Glasgow yesterday pointed out to me the similarity, and the growing similarity, between the conditions facing Glasgow today and those Glasgow was facing in the 1920s.

At the present time in Glasgow we have a shocking 10 per cent. of male unemployment, and a total of 38,000 men and women looking for jobs in the city and finding it extremely difficult indeed.

Within that figure there are two very disturbing aspects. The one I myself find the most disturbing and the most serious is that we have 2,200 school-leavers still looking for jobs, and this figure, I must tell the House, will be very much aggravated in June when several hundreds more school-leavers come on to the labour market. This is most serious indeed, and it is disturbing me and many of my friends in the trade unions that the employers are not taking on apprentices, and not taking on young people. This must be catastrophic for both the city and the West of Scotland in five, ten, twenty years' time when employers in industry will be looking for an adequate pool of skilled labour.

Another fact which is disturbing is that graduates of the two universities in the city are finding it difficult to find places in commerce and industry. We are seeing a repetition of the 'fifties, when many of these young people, professional people, highly-skilled technocrats, were having to leave this country and go abroad to get the sorts of positions which would justify the time spent on their education. The people of Glasgow, the people of Scotland, the people of the country as a whole, spend a great deal of money educating these young people, and if we are to get growth at any time, if we are to get what we require to pay for our welfare services, we shall need these contributions, these are of the type of people we need in Glasgow and in the West of Scotland. The fact that industries such as Rolls-Royce and I.C.I. have not been coming forward to employ such young people constitutes a very serious situation indeed.

I accept the point made in the local Press, that this is the worst unemployment situation since the beginning of the Second World War. So concerned is Glasgow Corporation that on 13th May it decided to make an immediate approach to the Prime Minister. It will be an all-party delegation which will come down to make an immediate approach to the Government for special action to be taken to alleviate the consequences of factory and other closures and to inaugurate a programme of work including acceleration of housing to provide employment in the city.' That is the point which will be made by the Lord Provost and the all-Party delegation. This is after the "special aids" offered by the Prime Minister; they are not nearly adequate enough to meet the needs of Glasgow in its present situation.

The Bank of Scotland, in a recent statement, said that it was preparing for a "wave of bankruptcies" amongst its clients in the coming year. This indicates how deeply disturbed are the people who handle commerce and industry from the financial side. I hope the Minister will grasp the serious implications of these statements.

One always asks what lies behind the figures and who is to blame. The Government continually blame the high wage claims of the unions, but if wages did not keep ahead of prices the purchasing power in the pockets of the people would be inadequate and further unemployment would follow.

We are told that the trade unions with their wage claims are pricing themselves out of the industrial market, but I have recently studied some figures given in the monthly Survey of Business Conditions in the United Kingdom for May, 1971. They show that unit labour costs in the United Kingdom were 9·8 per cent. higher in 1970 than in 1969, but the increase in Italy was 10·9 per cent., while in Germany, which is at present being counted by the Minister, there was a staggering increase of 12·1 per cent. These industrial countries seem able to manage their economy much better than we do, and they do not have anything like the situation that is growing in Glasgow.

My firm conviction, and that of my hon. Friends, that the abolition of investment grants, the gradual abolition of regional employment premiums and the uncertainty about I.D.C.s are at the root of this trouble, and have undermined the policies initiated by the last Labour Government in the regions. While we welcome the Government's initiative in the special development areas, we have not seen any specific project emanating from that scheme. It may be that it is rather too little and too late. This crisis of confidence has been caused by the complete ineptitude of the Government, and their failure to tackle the situation has resulted in the city of Glasgow, which has always been described as the industrial capital of Scotland, being described now as the industrial graveyard of Scotland, and that is very sad. As a proud Glaswegian, I feel angry and bitter to see in this famous city the gaunt monuments of empty work-ships, empty factories and empty yards. These are the casualties of a Government bankrupt of ideas, indifferent in approach and, unfortunately, still paying homage to the resurrected dinosaurs of Toryism. Hon. Gentlemen in the Tory Party take great delight in inflicting their revenge on trade unions in the mistaken impression that the unions in their claims for wages are responsible for all the ills of our country today.

If I appear to be somewhat petulant I make no apology. It is all too easy to plan redundancies and cut living standards from the comfort of the boardroom or the Tory club. It is equally difficult for Ministers of a Tory Government who live in the stockbroker belt to appreciate the indignity of the labour exchange and the social security office or the difficulty of a man who is unable to keep up the hire-purchase commitments, on a house, a car, or domestic furniture, which were taken on in the optimism of full employment.

An equally worrying aspect is the growing number of people on short-time work in Glasgow and the surrounding area. There have been savage increases in the cost of prescription charges, school meals and other welfare benefits. The food trade publication, the Grocer, says that since the election there have been 6,869 food price increases—that is, in one year alone. The cost of living is becoming extremely difficult for thousands of Glasgow wage-earners who are still below the national average. I am deeply concerned, as are the families in Glasgow, when I read about a £25 a week national average. I could take hon. Members to many of my constituents who bring home less than half that amount.

We must have concern not only for the unemployed but for the thousands of part-time workers—who are part-time only because they cannot get full employment. The people of Glasgow, like the people of Scotland as a whole, have their pride. I do not want to be told that there is the Family Income Supplement to help low wage-earners, or that there are extra welfare benefits—which, incidentally, the Government are spending a fortune advertising. The people of Glasgow do not want a stigma of "pauper" which their parents and grandparents had. They do not want to suffer the embarrassment of their children having to have a free school meals ticket, or of having to go into the chemist shop for free prescriptions, and to be stigmatised in the community. They want the same opportunities as they had under the Labour Government, namely, a chance of full employment. They want to take their rightful place in the community.

I turn to look at some of the solutions. I do not claim to have the immediate panacea for the problem, and I do not expect the Government to have it either. But I accuse the Government of a failure to appreciate the magnitude of the problem. I will recall to the Minister some of the famous companies which have closed their factories in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. These include Babcock and Wilcox; Foster Wheeler-Brown; Turners Asbestos, a subsidiary of Turner Newall; Sternes, a subsidiary of Hall Thermotank; and Dobbie McInness, a subsidiary of the Weir Group. The fact that these famous companies have decided to close their factories makes my point about cutting the living standards from the comfort of the boardroom, without regard to the social consequences.

The Glasgow overspill town of Cumbernauld has the astonishing figure of 1,000 redundancies. If this is allied with the serious redundancies in Singer and Rolls-Royce, there is a bleak outlook for Glasgow and the West of Scotland. This situation deserves urgent action from the Minister and his Department.

The harmonious industrial relations between unions and management in Glasgow cannot be bettered anywhere else in the United Kingdom, and many employers will testify to the truth of that statement. I pay tribute to the trade union officers in Glasgow and the West of Scotland for their patience. One of them said that he had been in on the death of so many companies that he was beginning to regard himself as an undertaker rather than an industrial official. We need a vast public works programme, and we need sizeable investment of public funds. This could be tackled by way of hospital building and house building, and I would suggest that we should build a unit for the chronic sick, rather than have some 300 chronic sick in geriatric wards in Scotland. These opportunities should be created to alleviate suffering, not only for the benefit of the unemployed, but for the benefit of the young chronic sick who are suffering in such wards.

I would ask the Government to think seriously about training and retraining programmes. I know that some reservations have been expressed on this matter by the trade unions. The point has been made "Why bring in more trainees when men are being laid off work?" I disagree with that point of view. If there are to be some 2,200 young people standing idle, I would rather see them being trained for the future than doing nothing. I ask the Minister to consider these points in relation to public investment and to have regard for voluntary bodies which appreciate the difficulties of the situation and have a pride in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

A new project is Clydefair International, which has the purpose of projecting the attractiveness and beauty of Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Glasgow Corporation has recognised this to be a viable project and has donated £30,000. I hope that, after consultation, the Minister will recommend some financial support being given to this project, which has been organised by industrialists and ordinary people who have a burning pride in their area.

The wrong impression about this part of the country is often conveyed to people living in the South and abroad. The Minister will agree that only good can come out of harnessing the voluntary spirit in the community. Indeed, what results from it can be greater than the benefits resulting from Government measures.

Glasgow expects action. Time is not on our side and the workers will not be treated like machines. They are no longer prepared to be used as pawns in the freeplay of market forces. They are far too well educated for that. Whatever our fathers and grandfathers were prepared to accept, the reality of modern times must be appreciated.

Speaking at a Tory conference the Prime Minister said, "We will change the course of history". He had better do something about the course of unemployment, or his words could turn out to be a tragic prophecy.

I recently received a letter from a constituent complaining about the Government's regional policy. Samuel Collins is a firm which could expand and provide 300 new jobs. One new job is valuable. Surely we should do every- thing in our power to encourage industrialists who are prepared to expand in Scotland. This expansion would mean building a new factory 16 miles from where this firm has its base, but under the Government's present regional policy it would have to move 30 miles before getting the grant. I trust that the Minister will look into this and similar matters because firms in Glasgow and the West of Scotland should not be inhibited from expanding in this way.

I urge the Minister to consider having a permanent exhibition of shipbuilding and engineering in my part of Scotland. These are skills which Glasgow and the West have in abundance. Kelvin Hall is, in terms of floor space, one of the largest arenas in the United Kingdom. This or another building could be used for a permanent exhibition to attract buyers from abroad. I understand that a successful shipbuilding exhibition has been held in Oslo, and we should emulate that.

The situation in Glasgow today is tragic. I trust I have said enough to prove that. I hope that the Minister has the answers to my questions, and that if he does not have them he will soon get them.

3.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr James Bennett Mr James Bennett , Glasgow Bridgeton

I follow normal custom in expressing gratification for the opportunity of taking part in the debate initiated by my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Gorbals (Mr. McElhone). At the same time, I deplore the circumstances which make such a debate necessary.

My hon. Friend has given the figures for unemployment in Glasgow. The Minister will find no satisfaction in saying that they are less than the national average. They are well, well above it and constantly growing.

In my own area, the firm of Davy United, which is synonymous with Bridgeton, will close down completely at the weekend. Skilled and semi-skilled workers and administrative staff are now on the scrap-heap. I now learn that the firm of Anderson and Mather in Bridge-ton is transferring part of its enterprise elsewhere, with a further loss of 260 jobs.

But these are the issues that hit the headlines and which the Press focus upon. They do not take account of the continuous lay-off of small numbers of men in almost every firm in my area. Last Friday I attended a mass meeting in my constituency, a meeting not only of the unemployed but of the employed, united in their view of the future, united in their uncertainty as to what the future will hold for them.

I assure the Minister that as well as showing great concern, they show great militancy. I can understand this because, speaking from personal knowledge, I know what unemloyment really means. There would be no point in my undertaking the exercise of telling the Minister what I experienced during my protracted period of unemployment. Albeit that was in the 1930s, what I found then I have no doubt the unemployed are finding at present, perhaps to a different degree.

One thing that emerges from unemployment is the misery and despair, and ultimate apathy, of those who are unemployed for a lengthy period. The Minister will be aware of a report of a mission to West Germany which took place at the end of November. I commend the mission for its energy and initiative. I sincerely hope that its efforts on that visit will result in new enterprise in Scotland. One of the inducements offered during the trip to West Germany was the pool of skilled labour in Scotland ready to be tapped. No one can doubt that the pool of skilled labour exists and is constantly growing. What I find rather ironical is that I read in the Sun of 19th May the headlines "Germany Calling!—200,000 Jobs for Britain's Unemployed" and then I read that an agreement has been reached to channel German vacancies through our 1,000 employment exchanges throughout the country.

I assume that the Government are concerned about this matter. But if their policy is to make it easier for our skilled men to leave these shores, one wonders what would happen if the German industrialists who are being courted come to this country only to find that the skilled men had left it to go elsewhere. I cannot help commenting that not so long ago we heard from the then Opposition—especially the Scottish Members—a great song and dance about emigration figures. As that song and dance was made at that time, one wonders what the reaction is now when they are actually encouraging people to leave Scotland to seek jobs elsewhere.

My hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals has made suggestions about what should be done. If people really matter to the Government, the Government must give back to the unemployed man his self-respect. They must give him the opportunity to use his skills, which must be for the benefit of the Government and of the nation.

Unemployment is not an academic problem but it tends to be treated as such. We can revel in an exchange of statistics, but they prove nothing. At the end of the day, statistics cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, tell the story of the human misery of families involved in protracted periods of unemployment. I cannot see any lessening of this in Glasgow. Nor was there any solace in an answer I received from an Employment Minister not long ago. He pointed out that when the Government's policies bite, Glasgow will benefit. When are the Government's policies likely to bite? When are the unemployment figures likely to drop?

If the Minister can give some hope to the ever-growing number of unemployed and the ever-growing number of workers who live under the threat of becoming unemployed, we shall have achieved something today.

3.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr George Younger Mr George Younger , Ayr

I am very grateful to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Gorbals (Mr. McElhone) for raising this important subject. I agree with him and with the hon. Member for Glasgow, Bridgeton (Mr. James Bennett) that we would all much rather that it was not necessary to debate this subject.

I apologise to the hon. Member for Gorbals for the fact that my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, Central (Mr. Anthony Grant) is not here to answer the debate on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry, as this is normally a subject which comes under the responsibility of that Department. My hon. Friend has asked me to deputise for him, because he has had to go off to another important engagement. I am very glad to deputise for my hon. Friend and to answer as well as I can the important points which have been raised.

All of us recognise that the scourge of unemployment is appalling for those who must suffer under it. All Governments try as hard as they can to reduce the incidence of and the effect of unemployment. The first and most important priority that the Government have in Scotland is to stop and then reverse the rising trends of unemployment which have been going on for some time. There can be no happiness and no success in affairs generally in Scotland while we have this unemployment with us.

As the hon. Gentleman would wish, it is our wish that all our policies should be geared to reducing unemployment in any way that we can. This afternoon I shall say something first about the basic causes for the situation; then I shall outline some of the action we are taking to reverse the trend; then I shall say a few words about what I think we can do in the months ahead to help reduce unemployment.

The basic causes of long-term and increasing unemployment in Scotland have often been detailed. I shall not detail with great care what these reasons are.

It is largely a problem of male unemployment. This is not to say that there are no women unemployed, but the problem of male unemployment is much more important and much greater than that of female unemployment. The main cause is to be found in what I would describe as a bunching of redundancies in certain industries in recent months and years combined with a low level of activity in some parts of the construction industry.

There has been a reduction in shipbuilding employment, for reasons of which we are all aware and which have often been discussed in the House. This has been largely achieved through natural wastage, but it has nevertheless has some impact on the number of jobs available for other people. This is true also in the construction industry.

The rate of this rundown is now on the whole reducing. In the 16 months from the beginning of 1970 no fewer than 17,000 people were declared redundant in the Greater Glasgow area. These redundancies had a variety of causes. Some were related to the general situation in world markets. It is not for the Government to be able to pronounce on the detailed reasons why individual industries may be adversely affected from time to time by world market situations. The decisions, know-how and expertise on these matters must remain with those concerned in the industries who are familiar with their problems.

I am sure that the House will agree that such decisions to cut back on production are never lightly made by management. Indeed, in their own interests, managements have every incentive to resist making such cut-backs or redundancies unless they are absolutely forced to do so. Moreover, to the extent that the streamlining of operations in a company helps it to operate more efficiently and competitively, this process, although often painful in itself, gives greater safeguard to the jobs of the remainder of the labour force who continue thereafter.

Information on all these factors cannot be at our finger-tips at all times, but it is the Government's duty and intention to see that a stable economic climate is created in which efficient firms can flourish and have the opportunity to make their businesses successful and do well.

To this we must add the Government's duty to see that those areas which have particular problems arising from the rundown of traditional industries and which have long suffered high levels of unemployment are assisted to attract new industries. I shall come to that later.

It is difficult to draw firm or quick conclusions from individual sets of figures taken over fairly short periods, but hon. Gentlemen may be somewhat relieved to hear that the present indication from notifications we have received so far over the second quarter of this year is that for the Glasgow travel-to-work area the total number of redundancies taking effect during this quarter is likely to be about half the number in the previous quarter and in each of the last quarters of 1970.

That may be little progress, and, as I say, it is too early to draw final conclusions from the figures, but there is some indication of a slackening off in the level of redundancies now.

I must emphasise at this point that it cannot be said that, whatever the difficulties are, this Government have done nothing to help. Not only has there been a major review of regional policy—in the previous debate, my lion. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry mentioned some of the features of that—but there has been massive special help directed particularly to Glasgow and its region. So much has this been so that I have been receiving criticism, quite telling criticism, from other parts of Scotland to the effect that they wish that they had some of the extra help which Glasgow has been receiving during recent months.

Although I entirely agree that the results are yet to be seen and that, so long as we have redundancies and unemployment in the Glasgow area we must all remain thoroughly dissatisfied, I hope that the hon. Gentleman recognises that a great deal of direct and positive action to help Glasgow has been taken.

Photo of Mr Frank McElhone Mr Frank McElhone , Glasgow Gorbals

Will the Minister itemise some of the benefits which the Government have given to Glasgow? I do not know anything about them. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. James Bennett) does not know about them. No one I speak to in Glasgow knows about them. I should be delighted to hear the hon. Gentleman expand on the benefits which Glasgow has had over the past few weeks or months.

Photo of Mr George Younger Mr George Younger , Ayr

I am sorry now that I gave way to the hon. Gentleman, for I was about to come to exactly that, and we have spent a moment or two unnecessarily.

In the first place, we have conducted a complete review of regional policy. It is possible for the hon. Gentleman and I to disagree on detailed aspects, on whether, for example, investment grants are better than investment allowances, but the general measures which have been taken have been directed to helping industry in every way we can. In the previous debate, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Greville Janner) complained about the operation of the I.D.C. policy, saying that some developments which he had, quite rightly, wanted in his area had been refused because industrial development certificates had not been granted. That was eloquent proof that our I.D.C. policy is still being pursued as actively as it was before and that the hon. Gentleman's suggestion that it had been weakened does not bear examination. We have maintained the I.D.C. policy and have refused to implement the recommendations of the Hunt Committee that the limit should be raised to £10,000 square feet all over the country. Scotland and Glasgow retain their strong preference in that way.

Second, there is the question of investment grants and allowances. Some firms do better out of investment grants than they may do with investment allowances, but many will do much better out of the new system. Firms in the development areas will receive a 10 per cent. higher building grant than they did before; the maximum has been raised from 35 per cent. to 45 per cent., a significant improvement. Many firms will get a great deal of benefit from the reintroduction of free depreciation on new plant and machinery which they want for new factories and new developments. There is the question of the whole service industry in Scotland, which had no help from the previous system and now has the benefit of 60 per cent. investment allowances on plant that it may buy new to expand its business. It is not possible to say, unless we take each individual case, whether a particular firm will be better or worse off.

The Government's design in changing the system was to make a better and more flexible package for industry. In that connection there is an important new freedom for the Government to give much wider and more flexible help under the Local Employment Acts, help which is more closely related than ever before to the production of new jobs, which we all want to see.

Photo of Mr Jim Sillars Mr Jim Sillars , South Ayrshire

The hon. Gentleman is extolling the virtues of investment allowances as opposed to investment grants. Can he tell us why the Conservatives in Northern Ireland thought it essential to retain investment grants and not to go for the investment allowances, when some of the Northern Ireland Members voted for them for Scotland in this House?

Photo of Mr George Younger Mr George Younger , Ayr

That is an entirely different question, depending on what the Northern Ireland Government may have thought was best for their circumstances. If the hon. Gentleman doubts what I have said, he should ask some of those in the service industries whether they think that they are better off. Half of our jobs in Scotland depend on the service industries. It is no use pretending that they are not better off.

There is also the question of the special development area. I was very glad that the hon. Gentleman warmly welcomed its introduction. He was absolutely right, because it was one of the major new initiatives in regional policy for many years. The special development area legislation was originally intended for small areas particularly affected by colliery closures. This new departure, announced in February by my right hon. Friend, designated a relatively vast area of Western Scotland, Clydeside right round about Glasgow in a very wide area was give special development area status, which has never been given on that scale in any other part of the country. It is a very important new attraction that Glasgow and Clydeside have. I hope that we shall find that once industry starts expanding again in the country it will be a powerful magnet to attract it to Glasgow to take up some of the labour now lying unused with people waiting to fill jobs. No one should under-estimate the effects the S.D.A. can have, and the major step forward that it was to introduce it.

Last winter we had a winter works programme specially for Scotland; no other part of the United Kingdom had it. It produced nearly £2 million-worth of extra work during the winter.

The hon. Member asked particularly for a massive public works programme now to try to help with unemployment. It is a very attractive idea, but it is not possible to bring forward vast and highly-complicated projects, such as hospitals and roads, overnight and to accelerate them in that way. It is certainly possible over a long period to bring them forward, and we are doing that as much as we can, but, because of the difficulties of planning and pre-planning and construction and so on, one just cannot turn a programme on and off like a tap. I assure the hon. Gentleman that the Government are looking at every way in which to bring forward such work as well as we can within the programmes.

All the main constructional programmes are going ahead, not merely at their previous pace, but often at an increased pace. The hospital building programme, for instance, has had extra money allocated to it by the Government. The school building programme has had special extra money allocated to it to help to build usually more primary schools in many parts of Scotland, and Glasgow is included in that. The road programme is going forward and increasing.

The one which is not increasing and which we should like to see increased is the housing programme, which the hon. Gentleman mentioned as one of his suggestions. I am extremely anxious that every possible house which is needed by every local authority, including Glasgow, should be built as fast as possible, and there is no restriction by the Government on the number of houses which may be built by a local authority if it genuinely needs to build houses. I have myself been going round the country trying to encourage authorities to build as many as they can, and I hope that the programme will improve and produce results.

As for other constructional employment; we have just launched the biggest publicity campaign ever launched by the Scottish Office on house improvement, which has a big contribution to make to providing a larger number of new homes and modern standards, particularly in Glasgow. Government grants for this purpose are generous and so far the publicity has produced more than 2,000 inquiries about what people can get in the way of grants to get on with the improvement of houses which might otherwise be falling into slums. This, too, will be another way which will help to take up some of the unemployment in the construction industry, and these improvement works are a particularly labour-intensive type of house building work, employing many craftsmen on what is sometimes difficult and tricky work.

As for the housing programme in Glasgow in general; we have announced important and extensive extra special help for Glasgow involving large sums of Government money. For instance, we have committed ourselves to finding an extra 7,000 houses for Glasgow's overspill in the cities and counties round about Glasgow. They will probably be built by the S.S.H.A. and the cost will fall on Government finance. We have committed ourselves to asking the East Kilbride Development Corporation to build a new town development at Stone-house in Lanarkshire eventually reaching 10,000 houses, and again the vast bulk of the cost will come from Government funds specifically directed to helping Glasgow.

Then there was the announcement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in March of completely new and special help for Glasgow, to try to encourage it to make major strides to improve the environment of the city. This could amount to £1 million a year for a period of five years. That is another piece of special help for Glasgow and for nowhere else.

Whatever else may be said, and one may say that unemployment in Glasgow is still a desperately worrying and major problem, no one can say that the Government have done nothing for Glasgow. We have done a great deal and I am confident that it will produce results when its full effects are seen.

May I finish by saying a word about the future, for I am sure that the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends would agree that, in spite of our concern and his concern, genuine concern, we all want to know whether there is anything we can do to help to lessen the problems for the future.

I have been encouraged in this regard by the thoroughly positive and helpful attitude taken by everyone in the West of Scotland—by managements and trade unionists, the Scottish T.U.C. and all the other bodies—to the important matter of getting the promotion of Scotland going outside Scotland, both in the rest of Britain and overseas. I have been doing all I can to get this on to a more efficient and organised basis so that Scotland can go forth outside its own borders and tell people of the immense advantages and possibilities there are for new industries in Scotland.

We have been building up these campaigns and the story which we can tell to the rest of the world. In Glasgow there are sites for industry and there are Department of Trade and Industry factories in many parts of the city ready to be used at any time. There is the pool of spare labour—although that is something that we wish we had not got. Nevertheless, it is an immensely valuable resource in attracting new industries. Europe has a great shortage of labour and the first thing that industrialists there ask is whether, if they should set up a faotory in Scotland, there is available labour. We can tell them that it is not just any labour, but experienced and skilled labour which they could use almost immediately. One sees what an attraction that is. We are grateful for the positive attitude of the Lord Provost of Glasgow, the Chairman of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Mr. MacLellan, and others, based on the new organisation for the West of Scotland under the title of "Scotland West".

This new body has shown its determination to get across to people outside Scotland that the West of Scotland is very much alive and kicking and has a great deal to offer. Those industrialists who come to the West of Scotland will find a ready welcome; they will find facilities waiting for them to use; they will find people ready and willing to step into the jobs. That is the sort of attitude we should get over when we are, quite naturally, worried about the level of unemployment, which we all deplore. It is time now for Glasgow and Scotland generally to step forward and let the world know what they can do and the facilities they have.

All these measures I have outlined involve heavy expenditure by the Government, and most of them involve a direct preference for Scotland, as against other parts of the country which are not so under-developed, and for Glasgow within Scotland itself because of Glasgow's particularly heavy unemployment problem. All these measures are directed to helping Glasgow to attract more industry to replace the lost jobs. I share the hon. Gentleman's concern and distress about his constituents and the unemployment, which we all deplore. But I say to him that at least we have in this Government a Government who recognise the problem and have done a great deal to produce new help to counter these trends. We shall never be found lacking in finding more ways of doing this job when they are necessary, and the hon. Gentleman can feel that there is an open door to him for any suggestions that he has for putting this distressing problem right.

I hope that Glasgow will find that these measures are having their effect as the main state of the economy begins to move into expansion, as it should do following the Budget. It is that that we have been preparing for over the last few months. I am certain that Glasgow and the West of Scotland will not be found wanting in taking advantage of these measures and making good use of them to the benefit of their citizens.