Does the Minister accept that pious hopes of future consideration will be totally unacceptable to the people of west-central Scotland? Does he realise that of the 121 worst districts in Great Britain suffering from multiple deprivation no fewer than 115 are in Clydeside? These areas have the worst unemployment record in the whole of Great Britain. Does the Minister accept that nothing that the present Government have in mind regarding future planning will be meaningful to the people of Scotland and that the real solution lies in their hands by having a meaningful Assembly which will control the economic resources of Scotland?
It is not for me, as Minister for Housing and Construction, to comment on future devolutionary plans which will be put before the House. But I would certainly accept that the study which has been made shows quite clearly that Clydeside—though this does not fall within my responsibility as Minister for Housing and Construction—is among the worst areas in the country. There are quite a number of other areas which fall directly within my responsibility in London. There is no question of pious hopes or pious declarations. This information will be used as the basis of decision-making.
Did the report indicate whether the deprivation was due to lack of funds, or is it not the case that it is due to mismanagement on Clydeside mainly by Labour-controlled authorities over many years?
It did not go into the question of causes. I suggest that before hon. Members put questions of that kind they should examine the report, which is available. They will then see that it is, if anything, a descriptive and not an analytical report in the sense being suggested in the question. Concerning decision-making for the future, this is in hand, and the questions about the Scottish situation had better be addressed to the Secretary of State for Scotland.