asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether any decision has been reached on the subject of an increase of State pensions so that recipients should not have to seek supplementary assistance from the local rates; and whether the representations of the Scottish local authorities asking that the State should accept full responsibility for the relief of all unemployed persons outside the scope of unemployment insurance or the Unemployment Assistance Board have been sympathetically considered?
As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the right hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury during the course of the Debate on 23rd November. As regards the second part, while I am con- sidering the general representations on the subject of public assistance expenditure made to me at a recent meeting with representatives of Scottish public assistance authorities, the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that acceptance of these proposals would involve a wide departure from existing policy.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the whole of the Scottish people are desirous that this relief should be granted to the local authorities and the pensions of the old people increased? Is he aware that the whole of Scotland is for that?