Sir John Macleod: My right hon. Friend is dealing with passenger services, but, surely, the Transport Commission has a free hand concerning freight closures.
Sir John Macleod: Has the Minister given up the Highlands altogether?
Sir John Macleod: MacBrayne's steamship services are already highly subsidised by the Government.
Sir John Macleod: Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that it is not his intention, or the Treasury's intention, to strangle the authority of the Hydro-Electric Board by not permitting these schemes to go forward, for that is what will happen if he does not allow this important development? Surely he can convince the Treasury that this is a very stupid short-term view which is sacrificing the long-term...
Sir John Macleod: I am very pleased to follow the hon. Member for the Western Isles (Mr. Malcolm MacMillan), who represents the other half of my county of Ross-shire. I agree with much of what he said. As a Member for a Highland constituency, I am naturally, very excited that this pulp mill is to be built in the Highlands. It is one of the most exciting things that has happened to us since, perhaps, the...
Sir John Macleod: Can my right hon. Friend say where the company will get the hydro power from which to produce the electricity it will use?
Sir John Macleod: Is my right hon. Friend aware that authoritative opinion in the north of Scotland is against amalgamation? Why cannot this Board, which has done so much for the Highlands of Scotland, retain its independence?
Sir John Macleod: Can my right hon. Friend say what co-ordination he has with the publicity put out by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board?
Sir John Macleod: asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if when appointing committees in future he will instruct them that no such undertaking should be given to witnesses that their evidence will not be published as was done in the case of the Mackenzie Committee.
Sir John Macleod: Why is there necessity for secrecy? Surely there is no question of the security of the State being involved in the report of a public inquiry of this kind? Is he aware that the Report of the Mackenzie Committee is very important to Scotland and particularly to the Highlands, and surely the people of the Highlands should be able to know on what evidence the findings of the Committee were based?
Sir John Macleod: asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action the Government intend to take on the recommendations of the Mackenzie Report on electricity generation in Scotland.
Sir John Macleod: Is my hon. Friend aware that the authorities in the north of Scotland have opposed any merger by the two Boards and that I hope that he has also come to that opinion?
Sir John Macleod: Can the Under-Secretary say what is the level of all grants paid in the Highland counties at the present time?
Sir John Macleod: Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that it is felt that there should be a greater distribution of industry in Scotland? There is still too much depopulation from the north to the south, aggravating the position. Was this matter taken into account during these meetings?
Sir John Macleod: I should like to support the Amendment. A case has been made out for widening the definition of livestock rearing areas and I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Mahon (Mr. Turton) that there must be some definition and demarcation. These grants are of enormous benefit to my part of Scotland. The question has been raised of the possibility of the ploughing grant being...
Sir John Macleod: How long does the Secretary of State propose that these discussions should go on? This is seriously affecting the Highland economy. Is he aware that the average of 5,000 people employed in these schemes is today down below 2,000? It is ridiculous to delay these schemes any longer.
Sir John Macleod: asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Secretary of State for Scotland in Sutherland on Saturday, 25th August, 1962, stating that no railway line in Scotland would be closed unless there was adequate alternative provision for passenger and freight transport, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.
Sir John Macleod: I thank the Prime Minister for that reply. Will he announce that it is Government policy to retain the main lines to the North, to Inverness, the Kyle of Lochalsh and to Wick and Thurso, because there is no adequate alternative transport discernible for that area in the foreseeable future, and uncertainty about the closure of the railway lines is hampering any potential development and growth...
Sir John Macleod: Will my right hon. Friend ensure that the Hydro-Electric Board gets on with the development of hydro-electric schemes which were delayed unnecessarily for two years by the Mackenzie Report, as this would help employment in the North and other areas of Scotland?
Sir John Macleod: Can my right hon. Friend say for what sums they were sold and whether the land was separated from the house in any of these instances?