HC Deb 11 November 1952 vol 507 cc757-8
40. Lady Tweedsmuir

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will receive the deputation from Aberdeen Town Council to discuss the provision of television for the Coronation.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

My right hon. Friend is in touch with his noble Friend the Postmaster-General and will write to the Town Council as soon as possible.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that Aberdeen Town Council wrote to the Secretary of State for Scotland on 24th September asking if he would receive a deputation, and that, to date, no reply has been received to that request? Will the Secretary of State therefore receive a deputation from the Aberdeen Town Council, in view of the fact that, in any representations which he makes to the Postmaster-General on this important subject of television for the North-East, he would be fortified by the views of this influential body?

Mr. Stewart

I have checked up on this matter in order to reply to the noble Lady, and I find that due acknowledgment was sent to the Town Council's letters, and that an interim reply has been sent since. I think the point was that my right hon. Friend did not feel that it would be worth while for the Town Council to come down to London until he had some useful information to offer them. As soon as he is able to offer them useful information, he will be delighted to receive them.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will the Minister draw the attention of the Assistant Postmaster-General to the outrage which he has perpetrated in altering the priorities with regard to television, to the prejudice of North-East Scotland, and will he see that justice is done in that matter?

Lady Tweedsmuir

Does not the Joint Under-Secretary think that, in view of the public interest aroused in this subject in the North-East of Scotland, it would have been advisable, at any rate, to reply to the point made in the letter as to whether the Secretary of State would receive a deputation? I have had an opportunity of seeing the correspondence, and I can say that that point has not been replied to.

Mr. Stewart

I can only assure my noble Friend that no discourtesy whatever was intended, and that my right hon. Friend will be delighted to receive a deputation as soon as he has something useful to say to them.