asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider setting up a committee to report on land utilisation in Scottish rural areas so that the Scottish people may be informed, as the English and Welsh people have already been informed by the Scott Report, about the nature and scope of the problem in Scotland?
I would remind my hon. Friend that, after consultation with the Council of Ex-Secretaries of State, I have already appointed authoritative committees to consider many subjects of vital importance to the Scottish countryside such as hill sheep, land settlement, hydroelectric development and the herring industry. I have also reconstituted the statutory Advisory Committees on Housing and Education which will, of course, review conditions in the country as well as in the town. The Scottish Council on Industry will also concern itself with the establishment and maintenance of rural industries. The work of the committee suggested by my hon. Friend would duplicate the various inquiries now being undertaken, and accordingly I do not think that the appointment of such a body would be desirable.