HC Deb 19 July 1955 vol 544 cc210-1

The following Questions stood upon the Order Paper:

67. Mr. N. MCLEAN

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to be able to make an announcement of the members of the Crofters Commission.

72 and 73. Mr. GRIMOND

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what salaries are to be paid to the Chairman and members of the Crofters Commission;

(2) if he will now announce the name of the chairman of the Crofters Commission.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. James Stuart)

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I should like to make a statement in reply to Questions Nos. 67, 72 and 73, concerning the Crofters Commission.

I am proposing to seek an Order in Council bringing the Crofters (Scotland) Act into operation on 1st October next and the Crofters Commission will assume office on that date. I am appointing Sir Robert William Urquhart, K.B.E., C.M.G., LL.D., as Chairman of the Commission and Mr. Alasdair R. Mackenzie, of Heathmount, Tain, and Mr. John McNaughton, C.B.E., of Oban, as the other full-time members. I am not yet in a position to make a complete statement about part-time members but I will do so as soon as possible.

The Chairman, Sir Robert William Urquhart, will be appointed for a period of five years at a salary of £3,000 a year. The other full-time members, Mr. Mackenzie and Mr. McNaughton, will be appointed for a period of five years at salaries of £2,000 a year. Part-time members will be paid salaries of £500 a year. None of the appointments will be pensionable.

The Secretary of the Commission will be Mr. D. J. MacCuish, M.A., LL.B., and their Chief Technical Officer will be Mr. A. MacArthur, N.D.A., C.D.A. Mr. Mackenzie, Mr. McNaughton and the two principal officers mentioned are Gaelic speakers.

The headquarters of the Commission will be at Inverness.

Mr. Woodburn

Where is to be the locus of the Commission?

Mr. Stuart

I stated that the headquarters of the Commission will be in Inverness.

Mr. McLean

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his announcement will give great satisfaction in the Highlands and Islands, where the people are awaiting with impatience for the Commission to start its work, and that we wish it the best success in dealing with the complicated and difficult crofting problems?