§ 43. Mr. Rankin
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury last met to give their consent to the payment of grants to local authorities in Scotland.
For over 100 years the Lords Commissioners have not met as the Board of Treasury, except on ceremonial occasions. Before that there were virtually no grants to consider.
§ Mr. Rankin
We were assured the other day that before payments could be made to Scottish local authorities they must be sanctioned by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Is every occasion of granting money to Scotland a ceremonial occasion? Is it only then that the Commissioners meet, or was the information given us in Committee inaccurate and is the work actually done by a Treasury official?
No, the point I was making was that the Lords Commissioners did not carry out their functions by formal meetings. If the hon. Member were to issue an invitation to the extreme North and give a guarantee that officially we should be received with that hospitality with which we are accustomed when we go to Scotland——
—my six colleagues and I would be glad to consider accepting such an invitation, but not during Parliamentary time.