HC Deb 26 November 1964 vol 702 cc1453-4
17. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked thte First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what is his policy regarding the various regional development studies set in motion by his predecessor.

Mr. Crosland

My right hon. Friend has arranged for work on these studies to continue.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the people of eastern Scotland are looking forward keenly to the completion of the carefully prepared plan for these areas set in motion by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath)? Is he aware that they would be bitterly disappointed if the publication of this plan were delayed to enable the Government to complete their own plans for a central planning board for Scotland?

Mr. Crosland

There will be no delay of any kind. The hon. Member will no doubt have seen the statement made yesterday in another place by my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland when he said that we are pressing on with comprehensive plans for various regions of Scotland and that they should be available probably by the middle of 1965.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will my hon. Friend abandon the geographical idea of his predecessor that the north-east of Scotland, and in particular Aberdeenshire, is not a region which needs development? Will my hon. Friend abandon that obnoxious idea and realise that the North-East of this island does not end on the River Tweed?

Mr. Crosland

The Government have the interest of Aberdeenshire very closely at heart, and I have personally the interest of the fishing industry in Aberdeen very closely at heart.