§ Q1. Mrs. Hart
asked the Prime Minister if he will define the relative responsibilities to Parliament of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of Transport in making decisions about the provision of effective transport facilities to implement Her Majesty's Government's proposals for economic development in those areas in Scotland defined as growth points.
§ The Prime Minister (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has statutory responsibilities for roads, and a general responsibility to see that the White Paper programme for development and growth in Central Scotland is carried out. The main responsibilities of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport in this field relate to railway investment and railway passenger closures. Wherever appropriate they seek the co-operation of the nationalised rail and road transport undertakings and other providers of transport.
§ Mrs. Hart
Is the Prime Minister aware that East Kilbride is defined in the recent White Paper on Central Scotland as a key growth area? Is he further aware that neither of his right hon. Friends is prepared to take any initiative in the improvement of transport facilities, particularly on the railways, which are called for in the White Paper? Does not this mean that the White Paper on Central Scotland and plans for economic growth are rendered considerably ineffective and that the Government begin to look pretty foolish, or is it perhaps that his right hon. Friends share the views of the writer in The Times last week?
§ The Prime Minister
I do not accept that my right hon. Friends have no interest in this area and its communications. They certainly have. The hon. Lady asked about co-ordination of their responsibilities and their responsibility for seeing to it that there are communications, adequate communications, in the development areas in Scotland. That is their responsibility.
§ The Prime Minister
I do not think they are precluded from taking any initiative and I do not accept that they have not taken any initiative, but, if the hon. Lady has a particular case in which she wants the Minister of Transport or the Minister of State to take an initiative, perhaps she will tell them or me.