Hunterston

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr David Lambie Mr David Lambie , Central Ayrshire 12:00 am, 13th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from Ayr County Council about future industrial developments at Hunterston.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

Ayr County Council has recently written to me about the case for setting steel production targets which would justify the construction of a major steelworks on a green field site, and for siting such a steelworks at Hunterston. These arguments were of course well known to me.

Photo of Mr David Lambie Mr David Lambie , Central Ayrshire

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that Ayr County Council is afraid that he will use the outstanding application by ORSI for oil and steel development at Hunterston, attracting only 2,000 jobs, as a substitute for the British Steel Corporation's proposal for a green field site integrated steel mill at Hunterston, guaranteeing the future of 26,000 jobs in the steel industry in Scotland which are being threatened by the Government's decision to enter Europe?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

I am the planning Minister for Scotland, and I have two applications in this area to consider. As I operate in a quasi-judicial capacity I cannot comment on them here, but in my decision two years ago I kept open all the options at Hunterston and in doing so I rejected an application by an oil refinery. That was much criticised by some hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Photo of Sir Fitzroy Maclean Sir Fitzroy Maclean , Bute and North Ayrshire

Can my right hon. Friend say when the Hunterston Development Company which he helped to set up will publish its conclusions on this important subject?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

I understand that the company is considering the report of the consultants and that in due course it will decide what statement to make.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

The right hon. Gentleman said that he was leading the fight for a balanced steel industry in Scotland. Does this include an integrated steel plant at Hunterston?

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

My answer mentions a green field site, which is what was put to me by Ayr County Council, but the House will know that the British Steel Corporation's plan which is before the Government does not include a green field site.