HC Deb 01 November 1955 vol 545 cc832-3
32. Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland from whom, apart from the hon. Member for the Western Isles, he has received representations regarding the proposal to establish a guided missile range and ancillary installations in the Outer Hebrides; and which of those representations have been in favour of the project.

Mr. J. N. Browne

My right hon. Friend has received in all some thirty-five communications mainly from private individuals. Broadly these consist either of representations against the proposal to establish the range or of requests for further information.

Mr. MacMillan

Will the hon. Gentleman convey to his right hon. Friend that the two main considerations that are worrying the local people—as distinct from all the people who speak from outside without much authority—are, first, the fear that there may be a large influx of people, which may cause a serious alteration in the whole social and cultural life of the island, and, secondly, that there may be a disturbance of crofters in respect of their land and their homes; and, further, that other considerations are relatively unimportant compared with these two?

Mr. Browne

As soon as the Government are able to formulate specific proposals there will be full consultation with all the interests concerned and the fullest opportunity for the lodging and consideration of objections.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in addition to the circumstances outlined by my hon. Friend, there has been a great deal of correspondence and agitation in Scotland on this matter which seems to have arisen from the fact that no proper explanation has been given of the circumstances and the need for this range? Will the hon. Gentleman advise his right hon. Friend and his colleagues in the War Office that there ought to be given to the public proper information on the subject which, if it proves that the range is absolutely necessary, might remove a great deal of opposition to it?

Mr. Browne

That will be done as soon as specific proposals are formulated.