HC Deb 01 March 1938 vol 332 cc891-2
7. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to keep the islands of the Outer Hebrides populated; and, if so, what policy and programme he has for this purpose; and what immediate plans he has in view to alleviate distress and the prolonged unemployment?

Mr. Elliot

I am afraid it is impossible to deal with a subject of such wide scope by means of question and answer in the House. As the hon. Member is aware, however, the special circumstances of the Highlands and Islands have been, and are, constantly kept in view by the Departments under my charge.

Mr. MacMillan

In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman and his Government have been in office since 1931 and that no policy has been produced, and that the tendency is towards the depopulation of these areas, can he not give us some indication of his policy, some simple statement of policy, and whether he has any plans at all on the matter?

Mr. Elliot

That is impossible within the limits of question and answer. The matter can be discussed on the Estimates.

Mr. Davidson

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman indicate whether the policy which he is following now is taken with a view of keeping the population in these islands?

Mr. Elliot