Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland (Ministries)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 12:00 am, 17th December 1957

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the proposal to have Ministerial co-ordination of Welsh economic growth under the Minister for Welsh Affairs, he will arrange for a similar co-ordination of United Kingdom Ministries operating in Scotland under the Secretary of State, in view of the latter's general responsibility for Scotland's economic growth.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the powers of the Secretary of State are sufficient for this purpose.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that so far it has never been possible for the Secretary of State to have heads of Departments consulting him in regard to the economic growth of Scotland, and that this new development in regard to Wales is one which would be very useful in consultations about certain aspects of the economic growth of Scotland?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I should have thought that the Secretary of State for Scotland had plenty of powers and that he could use them. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn), when he was Secretary of State, set up an economic committee, which was referred to in Cmd. 7308. I understand that that committee last met in May, 1950. If the right hon. Gentleman and his friends had been so keen on this, I do not know why they did not get that committee together more often.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is at least necessary that there should be some joint co-ordination between different Ministers in regard to the economic growth of Scotland and that this has so far been accomplished through the good will of other Ministers, there being no such formal organisation as has now been set up by the Minister for Wales?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Within Scotland, the Secretary of State has quite sufficient powers. I think. As regards the industrial development of Scotland vis-à-vis England, there are other measures possible within the Government machine for co-ordinating the two interests.