§ 1. Mr. Douglas
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will request his economic advisory section to evaluate the loss of gross domestic product in Scotland arising from the Government's emergency measures, and publish its conclusions in the Scottish Economic Bulletin.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gordon Campbell)
Estimates of Scottish gross domestic product are based on data which are only available retrospectively on an annual basis. It is therefore not at present possible to evaluate any loss of gross domestic product during the period of the emergency measures.
§ Mr. Douglas
I thank the Secretary of State for that information, but does he not concede that the current loss of production in Scotland has been unnecessary, in view of the possibility of a move to a four-day or a five-day week? Is he aware that many firms in my constituency have been put to considerable hardship, bordering on bankruptcy on occasions, when they are in sight of two power stations, at which according to local rumour—I put it no higher—the coal stocks are sufficient to enable a five-day week to be worked? Will the Government review the whole procedure?
§ Mr. Campbell
It has been explained to the House that it was necessary to go on to a three-day week when the crisis started, but because of the mild weather since then we are now able to consider other possibilities.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I do not endorse the terms of the supplementary question from the hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. Douglas), but is my right hon. Friend aware of a problem causing grave concern in the Tayside area? Almost a fortnight ago my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House announced a special concession enabling the wool textile industry to operate on Sundays, where it had traditionally done so. Firms in the jute textile industry, which are in an exactly analogous position, have 1624 so far not been allowed that concession. They and I have consistently telephoned and approached the Department concerned, but we have been unable to obtain an answer. Will my right hon. Friend do what he can to put a bomb under the Department of Energy?
§ Mr. Campbell
I know that my hon. Friend has been pursuing this point on behalf of the jute textile industry in Scotland. He told me about it yesterday. We shall do all we can to ensure that it is sorted out.