HC Deb 14 March 1962 vol 655 cc1305-6
25. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has now reached a decision regarding the proposal to impose a tax on tourists in Scotland.

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir. As I explained to the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir D. Robertson) on 7th February, I propose to await the Scottish Tourist Board's views before attempting to come to any conclusion.

Mr. Hoy

Am I not right in understanding that these views have been put to the Secretary of State? There is nothing very complicated about this. Why cannot the right hon. Gentleman come to a decision?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member must not ask me to decide questions which are of some interest and are highly controversial before I have even heard any arguments about them. I certainly do not intend to make any decision before I have at least seen the suggestions of the Tourist Board.

Mr. Hoy

May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that he came to a much more serious decision over drift-netting for fish without an inquiry? Would he not like to apply that principle in this case?

Mr. Speaker

That is another question.

Mrs. Slater

Will the right hon. Gentleman give very serious consideration to this matter? Is he aware that many of us from England enjoy going to Scotland for a holiday and that it would be a grave imposition if, because of a tourist tax, people were prevented from enjoying the grand mountains and lochs of Scotland?

Mr. Maclay

I am glad to see that the hon. Lady is working gallantly for the good of Scotland, as the Tourist Board is trying to do.

Mr. Tiley

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that if Scotland does not want visitors, the Yorkshire dales always welcome people?