As the Secretary of State will know, I would much prefer to deal with the reconstruction of Scottish local government in the context of a Scottish assembly. Does he realise that this process gives him the opportunity to right a wrong perpetrated by the Conservative Government in 1973, which has already been mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke)? I refer to the loss of the local councils in Cambuslang and Rutherglen, and their incorporation in Glasgow district council.
Paragraph 19·4 of the consultation paper says that local councils
should reflect local loyalties and allegiances and be truly representative of them.
If that means anything, surely what it logically means is the establishment of a one-tier authority for Cambuslang and Rutherglen. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will eventually recommend that, and will not take the advice of any civil service bureaucracy in the Scottish Office.