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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th December 1973.

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Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock 12:00 am, 11th December 1973

I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is an esoteric joke among Scots. I am sorry if you have not heard of Lex McLean: you have missed a lot.

We will not quarrel tonight with the things that the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mrs. MacDonald) said: hers was one of the best speeches that we have seen here for a long time—and I say "seen" quite rightly. I welcomed the hon. Lady's tribute to John Rankin and the work that he has done.

The case has been pretty well proved. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire is going to lose his case, because he has fought so hard. I am not so sorry for the hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith), for all his talk about beauty. This is an area over which few people have the privilege of walking. I have never done so. The hon. Member took refuge in the fact that it was a wonderful view from many places. He does not mind if the view is spoiled down the coast a little, so long as it does not reach Ballochmyle or Ayr, or other sacred places.

We must have balance. Of course we do not want the environment and an irreplaceable heritage unnecessarily spoiled. This is why I am worked up about 28 places where, according to the Scottish Office, concrete rigs could be built. That is nonsense, especially since it would be a temporary development. The subject of this Bill is very different; the whole continuation or survival of the industry of central Scotland may depend upon it. We cannot afford not to develop here because of the scenery. I am an Ayrshire man and am reluctant to give up any beautiful part of Ayrshire, but we must do so here because so much depends upon it.

The hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire was wrong to suggest that but for him this matter would have slipped through. After all this time and all the shouting, there was never a chance that it would.