§ 11. Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what functions he has in Scotland, and what functions he will retain after the proposed transfer of certain powers to the Secretry of State for Scotland.
§ 31. Mr. Canavan
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what role he envisages for his Department in Scotland after the setting up of the Scottish Development Agency.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Industry (Mr. Gregor Mackenzie)
At present my right hon. Friend's functions in Scotland are the same as in the rest of Great Britain. Following transfer of responsibility for regional selective assistance in Scotland to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and the setting up of the Scottish Development Agency which will be answerable to him, my right hon. Friend will retain throughout Great Britain his existing responsibilities for general and sectoral industrial policy, statutory responsibility for the British Steel Corporation and the Post Office, and responsibility for industrial research and development, together with certain aspects of regional industrial policy. In all these matters in so far as they affect Scotland, we shall, as always, consult my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Is it possible to avoid duplication between the Scottish Development Agency and the National Enterprise Board?
§ Mr. Mackenzie
As my hon. Friend knows, the Secretary of State for Scotland has published a consultative document on which he will be seeking advice from interested parties on the general question of the Scottish Development Agency. But we have always consulted very closely on this matter and there is no difficulty in making this distinction. These matters are being worked on at present.
§ Mr. Canavan
Will the National Enterprise Board be regarded as a complement 14 to, rather than a competitor of, the Scottish Development Agency? Is my hon. Friend aware that what Scottish industry requires is meaningful decentralisation within the context of a comprehensive United Kingdom plan for industrial development'? Does he agree that, just as political devolution is preferable to complete political separatism, industrial devolution is to be preferred to complete industrial separatism, in order to serve the best interests of the Scottish people and people elsewhere in the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. Mackenzie
I agree with my hon. Friend. The whole purpose is to allow this degree of decentralisation, in that certain decisions will be taken in Scotland about Scottish affairs. However, the broad overall aim is to preserve the industrial integrity of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Crawford
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that great concern has been expressed by industrialists in Scotland about a remark by the Minister of State for Industry during the Second Reading of the Industry Bill in which he said that the writ of the NEB would run in Scotland, that the Scottish Development Agency would be subservient to the NEB, and that this would lead to even greater centralisation of decision-making in Scottish affairs?
§ Mr. Dempsey
Which Minister will be responsible for ending the shameful practice whereby industrialists such as the Tinsley Wire Company, Coatbridge, settle in Scotland with Government financial aid and then, after capturing the Scottish market, move to England, throwing 120 men out of work and without regard to the social and economic consequences to the work force?
§ Mr. Mackenzie
I am very conscious of problem. My hon. Friend and I know this one very well. That is why we are introducing the practice of planning agreements. We believe that these will be valuable and useful in this regard.