§ Mr. Grimond
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a very short personal statement. I should not have troubled the House or taken up its time on what is a very small matter had it not given rise to a certain amount of misunderstanding. My name has appeared on the Order Paper as a signatory to the Motion regarding the powers and responsibilities of local authorities.
[That this House regrets the reduction in the powers and responsibilities of local authorities which has taken place in recent 818 years, and deplores the failure of His Majesty's Government to take steps to carry out that reorganisation of local government which is essential if interest in local affairs is to be maintained, and a high standard of administration ensured.]
The other names to the Motion are those of the hon. Gentlemen who sit on the bench behind me. On any social occasion I should, of course, be delighted to be in the company of the hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Maclay), and his friends, but this political association has given rise to some misunderstanding.
Without expressing any views on the merits of the Motion, I only wish to say that I did not sign it, that I was not asked to sign it, and, in fact, knew nothing about it until it appeared on the Order Paper. I believe that the mistake is a very natural one. It arises, I understand, from the peculiarities of the handwriting of the hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Howard).