HC Deb 14 October 1941 vol 374 cc1232-3
36. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the misunderstanding which still exists in Scotland, he will define the functions to be performed by the Scottish Advisory Council after the Reports of inquiry committees have been received; whether the council has yet met; and what progress has been made?

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)

I am not aware of any misunderstanding as to the functions of the Council which were set out fully in my statements in the House on nth September. These functions are—

  1. 1. To survey the problems likely to arise in post-war Scotland, and
  2. 2. To select suitable personnel to conduct any necessary inquiries.
When these inquiries are completed I will naturally consult the Council as to what action they think necessary. The Council met on 29th September. It will meet again this month in Edinburgh.

Mr. Maxton

Could the right hon. Gentleman answer the last part of the Question and say what progress has been made? Have the Council yet defined the scope of the inquiry, and have they chosen to study the various subjects?

Mr. Johnston

All I can say is that it will not be very long before some announcement is made.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that every member of this Advisory Council is a shell-backed Tory?

Mr. Henderson Stewart

With regard to the consultations which my right hon. Friend has had with the Council, does that mean that he will consult with them in framing the proposals which he will put to the House following upon a report?

Mr. Johnston

It means that the Government are responsible for any proposals they make to the House.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is not this Council, apart from my right hon. Friend, composed of Tories?