SCOTTISH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (No. 2) [MONEY]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th June 1975.

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Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfries 12:00 am, 25th June 1975

We have listened to the Minister of State, Scottish Office, indicating that money is no object at all, but we are in the midst of a major financial crisis and it is up to the Government to tell us a little more about where the finance is coming from and about how it is to be spent.

I am very keen indeed that money should be spent wisely in the creation of jobs and the promotion of industry in Scotland, but we are talking in terms of £300 million, and the Minister of State, in winding up, disowned, perhaps, his Press hand out of January that the money would be spent over five years.

It is only right that the Treasury Minister who will reply to this debate should give some indication of how much per year is likely to be spent, certainly in the initial two years. I agree that it is impossible to say what will happen in the future, but the Government must have some idea of the amount of money that will be spent in the coming year and the year after.

Also in terms of the Money Resolution I think that it would be beneficial to the House to know some of the breakdown of the money which is to be provided to air services in Scotland. How much is to go to Logan Air and how much to British Airways? I wish both services well, but in my view the House is entitled to know how the money is to be spent and where it is going in relation to the air services mentioned in the Money Resolution.

Finally, from my point of view, the House would like to know a little more about the cross-entry arrangement between Section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 and the powers of the SDA. How much money do the Government expect will be transferred in the first year from work which might be done under Section 7 of the Industry Act to the SDA? This will give the Committee some help in knowing the apportionment of the money under the 1972 Act.

Overall, we have had extraordinarily little information from the Government in relation to the Money Resolution, especially about where the money is to come from and how it is to be spent. Earlier, I asked whether the money was sacrosanct in relation to the package deal which the Prime Minister has promised next month. If we pass this Money Resolution of £300 million, are we likely to find it cut to £200 million or £100 million next month under the economic crisis proposals?

I believe that we are entitled to more information, and that is what I seek.