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New Industries, Falkirk

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to attract new industries to the Falkirk area, in view of the recession in the ironfounding industry.

The Board of Trade recognise the need of the Falkirk area for new industry and will continue to encourage suitable enterprises to establish themselves there.

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman recall that a year ago one of his colleagues in the Government put very emphatically the point which he is now putting that the area needs diversification of industry? Will he say what has been done in that respect in the course of that year?

The hon. Member is aware that Falkirk cannot be considered apart from Grangemouth and Bonny-bridge, and that there have been considerable developments there.

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that industry in Falkirk is mainly one of supplying goods for fuel consumption, such as modern grates? Would he not ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he would not make the introduction of fuel saving appliances free from Purchase Tax so that there might be some encouragement to this industry, and a saving in fuel?

As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, that is a totally different question.

Is it not the case that there is now no restriction on industrial building even in areas where many thousands of vacancies cannot be filled? How can the hon. and learned Gentleman expect a proper redistribution of industry whilst such conditions exist?