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My right hon. Friend's Department is in regular contact on this matter with the local authorities concerned, and if it appears that general guidance can usefully be offered this will certainly be done.
Is not the Secretary of State aware that this is rather a surprising reply? On 23rd May last year the Circular quoted in my Question was sent out to Scottish housing authorities asking for an estimate of their needs. Is it the case that the Secretary of State now decides the priorities? If he is not to give some reply to the housing authorities, after they have made their reports to him, but is merely waiting hopefully for something to turn up, is not the right hon. Gentleman misleading the whole of Scotland? Is not the supposed reason he sent out the Circular to create some better conditions in town centres?
Because most town centres are different from each other, the best way to handle the matter is by direct contact between my right hon. Friend's officers and the interested local authorities.