Highland Development

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th May 1952.

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Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland 12:00 am, 13th May 1952

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give an estimate of the sums which will be available for Highland development over the next two years or any convenient period.

Photo of Mr William Snadden Mr William Snadden , Kinross and West Perthshire

I am not altogether clear what information the hon. Member desires. The current Estimates include, in respect of services with which my right hon. Friend is directly concerned, sums attributable to the Highlands and Islands amounting in all to about £10,500,000. This does not include expenditure met from the rates, from votes for services for which other Ministers are responsible, from grants in aid of agricultural research, or from funds of other agencies such as the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, private firms or private individuals.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

Would the Joint Under-Secretary agree that the sums to which he referred are merely routine payments? What I have in mind is that there is now a great volume of recommendations by various people about the Highlands, and that the next step should be to draw up a comprehensive policy for action based on those recommendations. Before that could be done, the Government would need to make up their minds how much extra they can set aside for specific purposes of Highland development.

Photo of Mr William Snadden Mr William Snadden , Kinross and West Perthshire

That is a wider question, involving very large considerations. I have given all the information that is available in the Departments for which my right hon. Friend is responsible.

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macmillan Mr Malcolm Macmillan , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Could not the hon. Gentleman give us some sort of overall estimate as to what amount is likely to be spent on that part of the White Paper programme which is agreed by this Government and was taken over from the previous Government?

Photo of Mr William Snadden Mr William Snadden , Kinross and West Perthshire

I could not give that information without notice.