We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder


Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th December 1973.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hon. Thomas Galbraith Hon. Thomas Galbraith , Glasgow Hillhead 12:00 am, 11th December 1973

I begin by congratulating the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mrs. MacDonald) on a well prepared and attractively delivered speech. If all that I heard did not please my ears, everything that my eye saw was a delight.

The purpose of the Bill, which I oppose, is to build a jetty. On the face of it, that seems to be a minor matter about which to get agitated, but I dare say that we shall get agitated before the end of the debate. As we all know, what is at stake is not just a jetty. That is merely a modest first step in a development that is designed to lead to major industrialisation of the whole Hunterston peninsula. The question whether that should take place is what we are debating. If the jetty is built on the site proposed the rest will follow as sure as night follows day.

I do not want the House to think that because I am opposed to the jetty I am opposed to all development everywhere. There must be development if we are to live. Development is almost synonymous with life. Whether it be the development of ploughing which raises crops from the ground, of mining which raises coal from below the ground, or of drilling which raises oil from beneath the sea, we cannot have life without development. Life depends on development.

Life, however, does not depend only on development and the riches that flow from it. Life—the good life, the balanced life—depends on many intangible qualities quite as much as on material affluence. The good life depends on fresh air for health, and peace, space, quiet and beauty for relaxation. The good life depends as much on being able to get away from the stench of the factory and the noise of the anvil as it depends on the product of their industry. This is surely common ground between us. All these intangibles which go to enrich the quality of life exist to a marked degree on the Hunterston peninsula and the coast lying between the headland and the village of Fairlie.

My purpose in intervening in the debate is to plead with the Government to retain this uniquely beautiful part of Scotland so that it may continue to fulfil the important national purpose of providing workers in industry—workers who come from the hon. Lady's constituency just as much as from mine—with a pleasant place which is easily accessible to them—a place where they may refresh their minds and bodies in beautiful surroundings so different from the squalor of the areas where they work.