HC Deb 05 December 1963 vol 685 cc1362-3
Q8. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the inadequate time provided for the discussion of purely Scottish affairs, if he will introduce legislation to establish a Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and reduce the number of Scottish Members in Westminster; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to maintain the Union of Scotland and England and Wales and to oppose anything tending to separate them.

Sir C. Osborne

We agree that the Kingdom should remain united, but does my right hon. Friend realise that Scottish Members complain continually that they do not get a fair share of the time of the House for their business and that we English Members get far too much? Could not my right hon. Friend make arrangements so that a few of the best Scottish Members from both sides stayed here and the rest went back to Edinburgh?

The Prime Minister

I am now an interested party. I think that I had better keep out of it.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that, when he was asked a similar question during his by-election campaign, he replied that the Homes were probably the most successful cattle thieves on any Border and that he would not have given that up if he had not thought, as a Scotsman, that there was more profit in co-operation? Is that the real reason, or has he found it more profitable to give up cattle stealing from the English and extract rents from the Scots?

The Prime Minister

We have slightly changed our habits. The thing is that we came to the Smithfield Show yesterday and carried off the championship.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the champion steer at the Smithfield Show yesterday was greatly improved because it had a Hereford face?

Mr. Ross

Is the Prime Minister aware that we on this side deplore the sly attempt of the hon. Gentleman so soon to get rid of his newly-emerged leader? Would it not be better for both North and Louth, for the convenience of the former and the enlightenment of the latter, that Parliament itself should be transferred to Edinburgh?