§ 41. Mr. MACQUISTEN
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the fact that the existence of a Board of Agriculture, a Forestry Commission, a section of the Office of Woods and Forests, a Public Health Department charged with rural housing, a Land Court, a Road Transport Department, and a section of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, all operating and 1226 dealing with the same area on rural problems, all independent, and all with separate staffs and offices, is a serious menace to the carrying on of administration of public duties in the Highlands of Scotland, he has considered the advisability of unifying all these bodies under one authority with a view to efficiency in the problems arising in that area and consequent saving in cost of administration and hotel and travelling expenses?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The suggestion of my hon. and learned Friend would apparently involve the creation of an additional department dealing with a large number of diverse subjects. I am fully alive to the importance of securing the greatest possible measure of efficiency and economy in administration, but my hon. and learned Friend will realise that the suggestion made in the question raises issues much too wide to be dealt with by way of question and answer.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Does the right hon. Gentleman not see that the officials of seven Departments going over these sparsely populated districts is an enormous expense upon them and upon the Government, and that it would be very much better expended in giving them reasonable transport so that they can dispense with all these officials?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
What does the Secretary of State for Scotland mean in giving these replies? He says that it is going to have his careful consideration. What does he mean by "careful consideration"?