Wheatley Report

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd April 1970.

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Photo of Mr Michael Hutchison Mr Michael Hutchison , Edinburgh South 12:00 am, 22nd April 1970

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to issue a White Paper on the Government's proposals concerning the financial arrangements for implementing the Wheatley Report recommendations.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

The Government's proposals will be published in a Green Paper in time for consultations and public discussion to take place before legislation is prepared.

Photo of Mr Michael Hutchison Mr Michael Hutchison , Edinburgh South

While I do not wish to press the right hon. Gentleman unduly, does he realise that until we have some idea of what the financial proposals are, and their implications, it is very difficult to come to sensible conclusions about these recommendations?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

I am satisfied that the way we are proceeding is right. This information will be laid before the House.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while he may say that consultation is important, a lot of people in local government are extremely disappointed that the consultation has not taken place before the White Paper has been produced?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

If the hon. Gentleman really wants to make progress in this he should appreciate that if we embark upon what would be virtually another Royal Commission it would be many years before we achieved the reorganisation which everyone agrees is urgently necessary.