§ 16. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the need for a jetty in the Isle of Eriskay; whether Inverness County Council has yet applied for a grant to assist with its construction; and what steps he is taking to meet this urgent need of this community of fishermen.
Inverness County Council have agreed that a jetty to serve Eriskay 1166 is necessary. It is on the list of essential piers in the programme of Highland development. I am awaiting an application by the Council for a grant in this case.
§ Mr. MacMillan
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are sometimes inordinate delays in making these applications, and that meantime the fishermen are labouring under most primitive disadvantages in having to land their gear and commodities over rocks and seaweed because of the lack of any pier? Will he go out of his way a little bit to try to persuade Inverness County Council to hurry up, and will he expedite the matter when it comes to him?
I think my hon. Friend has as much power to hurry the county council as I have, but I promise him that as quickly as I have the application I will deal with it.
§ Mr. Boothby
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this kind of neglect, which is only too common in the Hebrides, would not be tolerated by the Colonial Office in respect of a desert island at the other end of the Pacific?
If the hon. Gentleman is inviting me to deal with the people of East Aberdeen as we sometimes have to deal with the people of backward areas, I decline the invitation.
§ Mr. Spence
Would the Secretary of State agree that when this jetty is finally built it should be called the Mitchell jetty in order to anticipate coming events?
§ Mr. MacMillan
Is my right hon. Friend aware that since this Government came into power there has been more sympathy for the Isle of Eriskay, which was left without a road as well as without a jetty until a few years ago?