§ 23. Mr. Lawson
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development by what amount, in thousands of sq. ft., the area of industrial building approved in Scotland during 1963 exceeded that approved in 1960.
§ Mr. Heath
The area of industrial building approved for Scotland in 1963 576 was about 2.8 million sq. ft. less than the 1960 total. The area started was about 2.9 million sq. ft. less. The year 1960 was the year of the big developments in the iron and steel and vehicle building industries in Scotland.
§ Mr. Ross
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that he intended to mislead the House in the Budget debate on 15th April last when he gave the impression that there was continued and growing buoyancy, and that the Government were doing more and more, and getting more and more success, when the actual fact is that, compared with 1960, there is a reduction of over 50 per cent. in the number of starts, and that that is not just in 1963, but that the same story can be told of 1962 and 1961?
§ Mr. Heath
What the hon. Member must take into account is that as a result of the Government's policies in 1960, there was the steel development in Scotland and also the movement of the motor industry there. It is obviously quite impossible for movements of industries on that scale to take place every year. That is why the figures for 1960 are so much greater than those for other years. But I am glad that the hon. Gentleman appreciates the success of Government policies in 1960 in getting those particular industries to Scotland.
§ Mr. Lawson
Was not the right hon. Gentleman's speech in that debate an example of selectivity? Did he not seek then to convey an impression that industrial building in Scotland was going far ahead even of industrial building in London and the South-East? Will the Minister study his own figures, not over two or three years but over a number of years, and appreciate that industrial building in Scotland persistently lags behind, and very much lags behind, the size of the Scottish industrial population, so that our position is worsening all the time?
§ Mr. Heath
What I gave to the House in that debate were the figures of standard grants for building and equipment under the 1963 Act. I showed the way they were growing, and emphasised their importance. It is perfectly true that a number come from within Scotland itself, and that is to be encouraged. One wants to see development in Scotland, and that is what I was telling the House.
§ 19. Mr. J. Robertson
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development what is his estimate of the volume of industrial building currently under construction for which no industrial development certificates have been issued.
§ 20. Mr. McInnes
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development if he will estimate, in thousaids of sq. ft., the amount of industrial building not sanctioned by industrial development certificates which has been carried out in the London and South-East Region and in Scotland, respectively, during each of the past five years.
§ Mr. Robertson
Does not the Secretary of state agree that it is quite impossible to make any assessment of I.D.C. policy until we have those figures? Would he not agree that from what one can see far more industrial building is going on in London than in any other part of the country? Why cannot we have the figures when, without them, we cannot make a comparison?
§ Mr. Heath
The reason the hon. Member cannot have the figures is that firms can expand to the extent of 5,000 sq. ft. without an industrial development certificate. Therefore, no record is kept in the Board of Trade of the firms that do this. This has been a policy pursued by Governments on both sides since the war, because it is believed, first of all, that the burden on administration of keeping records of small expansions is unjustifiable and, secondly, that expansions of this size are not likely to move to other parts of the country.
§ Mr. McInnes
The Minister must appreciate that it is desirable that his Department should keep these records, because we should have information about the large volume of development taking place south of the Border, to the neglect of Scotland. Will not he now consider keeping these records in the Department?
§ Mr. Heath
This is not to the neglect of Scotland, or any other part of the country, because if a firm is prepared to 578 expand by only 5,000 sq. ft. it is most unlikely that it will be prepared to set up a separate organisation whether in Scotland, the North-East or anywhere else. As this is unlikely to happen, Governments on both sides have in the past pursued the policy that it is an unnecessary burden on administration to keep full records of each case.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
Will the Minister give an assurance that no industrial buildings in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. will be allowed without an industrial development certificate?
§ 22. Mr. Millan
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development what were the Eastern Region and Scottish percentages, respectively, of the Great Britain total of industrial building completions for each of the years from and including 1959.
§ 25. Mr. Hannan
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development what were the Eastern Region and Scottish percentages, respectively, of the Great Britain total of industrial building under construction at end of period in each of the years from and including 1959.
§ Mr. Small
Has the right hon. Gentleman studied these figures? I have studied some of them, and find that they make a mockery of the claim to keep an equilibrium in industrial building approvals and I.D.Cs. The present trend is against Scotland and in favour of the North-East by about two to one. Will the Minister reverse that trend?
§ Mr. Heath
The hon. Member referred to the North-East, but this 579 Question deals with the Eastern Region and I would not accept the hon. Member's views on the analysis of those figures. He must also take into account that the Eastern Region takes a great deal of the overspill from London, because of the growing population of London, and, naturally, there must be jobs with the overspill.
§ Mr. Millan
The right hon. Gentleman talks of a tough industrial development certificate policy, but is it not strange that the figures published by his own Department of actual industrial building show that a population based on an area like Scotland, which has large numbers of development districts, still comes off very badly in comparison with the Eastern Region, which has not? If the Government's policy is working, can the right hon. Gentleman explain this discrepancy?
§ Mr. Lawson
Is it true or not that in the Eastern Region, which is not nearly such a big region as Scotland in terms of population, industrial building has been about twice that of Scotland despite the tight control the right hon. Gentleman's Department is supposed to exercise over industrial building?
§ Mr. P. Williams
Has my right hon. Friend noticed a report in the Press this morning that an electronics firm has established itself, or is about to establish itself, in Scotland? Did this demand an industrial development certificate? If so, is he aware that it is welcome, and that his efforts to bring an electronics firm to the North-East will also be welcome?
§ Following are the figures:
|PERCENTAGES OF GREAT BRITAIN TOTALS|
|Industrial development certificates issued|
|Industrial Building Schemes under construction|
|End September 1963||14.6||7.7|
|Industrial Building Schemes completed Schemes completed|
§ 26. Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development by what amount, in thousands of square feet, the area of industrial building completed in Scotland in 1963 exceeded the amount completed in 1959.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Are we to be told that 1959 is also a specially selected year? Is not this a very disappointing figure?
§ 30. Mr. T. Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development by what amount, in thousands of square feet the area of industrial development under construction in Scotland at the end of 1963 exceeded the amount under construction at the end of 1961.
§ Mr. Fraser
Is not this a further indication that the Secretary of State has 581 misled the House of Commons by some of his recent speeches about the great improvement that was taking place in the industrial scene in Scotland? Is it not better, as the Prime Minister advised a little while ago, not to look at the short-term figures but at the trend over a period? If the right hon. Gentleman does that, is it not quite clear that the position in Scotland is worsening, not improving?
§ Mr. Heath
I do not accept in any way that I was misleading the House. The hon. Member is always trying to reduce the impact of what is being done in Scotland. He does not seem to realise that the figures for starts in 1960 for the steel and motor industries of course continued into 1961 as being under construction and that that is the reason for the contrast between those figures and the figure which I have just given the hon. Member.