HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 c500
6. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in Scotland spoke during each of the last 10 years the Gaelic language; how many spoke or speak only Gaelic; and how many spoke or speak both Gaelic and English.

Lady Tweedsmuir

At the 1951 census there were 95,447 Gaelic speakers of whom 2,178 spoke Gaelic only and 93,269 both Gaelic and English; in 1961 the figures were 76,587, 1,079 and 75,508. There are no figures for other years.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the hon. Lady realise that it is a most regrettable mark of cultural intransigence and intolerance that the Government give so little attention and practical encouragement to this ancient and distinguished language? This is a wrong policy. Will she do her best to alter this policy so that this ancient and distinguished language may receive the attention it deserves?

Lady Tweedsmuir

It has been the duty of education authorities since 1918 to see that instruction in Gaelic is given in those areas which are primarily Gaelic-speaking.