HC Deb 02 August 1962 vol 664 c790
Q5. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the many problems facing the Scottish economy, he will consider the appointment of a Joint Secretary of State as an additional member of the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Hamilton

Does the Prime Minister recognise that the Secretary of State for Scotland is probably the most overworked member of the Cabinet—at least, he ought to be—and does he, further, recognise that whilst we have in Scotland about 10 per cent. of the population of the United Kingdom, we have 5 per cent. of the Cabinet membership? We also have 20 per cent. of the unemployment in the United Kingdom. Despite the embarrassment of the shortage of talent among his Scottish colleagues, does not the Prime Minister nevertheless accept the principle that we ought to have two Cabinet Ministers representing Scottish interests, so that we can solve this problem, which is causing increasing concern among the community?

The Prime Minister

If I remember aright, we introduced the principle of the Minister of State for Scotland. After all, these problems affect all the Departments of the country as a whole and I am not persuaded that the proposal which is made, although I am sure it is made in good faith, would act in helping on the work that we have to do.

Mr. Ross

Will not the Prime Minister consider handing over special oversight of this problem to the First Secretary, who is rather busy establishing a residential qualification to become the next Secretary of State for Scotland?