HC Deb 19 February 1948 vol 447 cc1440-1
Mr. Forman (Glasgow, Springburn)

I beg to move, in page 18, line 31, to leave out from "with," to the end of line 32, and to insert, "each local authority."

This Amendment would strengthen the Clause. It would give to each local authority a right to have any case examined. I suggest that it would be more satisfactory than the present method. In the case of Scottish authorities, the method is that the Convention of Royal Burghs, the Counties of Cities Association or the County Councils Association are called in separately or jointly. Quite a number of legitimate claims by separate local authorities are lost by this method, and we believe that the words of the Amendment would give more assurance to each local authority During the discussions on Part 11 of the Bill, the Secretary of State for Scotland gave an assurance that he would meet the local authorities on certain financial provisions. I understand that the negotiations have taken place, and after those negotiations, some of the local authorities are dissatisfied with the conclusions reached. They feel that if they had the opportunity to go forward as separate local authorities, they would get more satisfaction. It is for this reason that I move this Amendment. I hope the Secretary of State will be able to give us an assurance on the points that I have raised.

Mr. Walker

I beg to second the Amendment.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Thomas Fraser)

My hon. Friend the Member for Springburn (Mr. Forman) asked me a moment ago if the Secretary of State could give some assurance to the local authorities that they would, in fact, be consulted individually and that also the associations of local authorities would be consulted. I have no hesitation in giving that assurance. My hon. Friend will be aware that we could not accept his Amendment, since we have over 200 local authorities, and would be required to consult each of them and that would make the whole position quite impossible. We will have our consultations with the local authorities associations as representing the local authorities. On top of that, I can give the assurance that we will consult any individual local authority which expresses a desire to be consulted in these matters. I hope that with that assurance my hon. Friend will see fit to withdraw the Amendment.

Mr. Forman

In view of the statement by the Joint Under-Secretary of State, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.