HC Deb 24 February 1965 vol 707 cc375-7
14. Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the factors which led to the recent change in the chairmanship of the Herring Industry Board.

Mr. Willis

The Government decided that it was desirable to make a fresh appointment on the expiry of Sir John Carmichael's appointment as chairman of the Board and that Mr. George Middleton was the most suitable person for the post.

This change implies no reflection on the way Sir John carried out the exacting duties of this office during his chairmanship.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the outgoing chairman, Sir John Carmichael, was regarded with enthusiasm an an admirable chairman by both the sea and shore sides of the fishing industry, and that both join in hoping and wishing the new chairman well in his important task? Can the hon. Gentleman confirm rumours at present afloat in the industry that the general manager of the Board is due to resign in the spring?

Mr. Speaker

Order. That is out of order, unless it can be shown that the Minister is responsible for the rumour. The first part of the supplementary question is all right though.

Mr. Willis

I do not dissent from what the hon. Gentleman said in the first part of his supplementary question.

Mr. Stodart

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the importance of having a chairman for this Board who can spend plenty of time there? Can he give the House the number of other appointments which Mr. George Middleton holds, and how often he proposes to be able to look after the affairs of the Board?

Mr. Willis

If the hon. Gentleman puts down these questions, we will try to answer them. We would not have appointed Mr. George Middleton had we not been confident that he could give the necessary time to the work of the Board.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is my hon. Friend aware that when previous Governments have appointed distinguished Conservatives to be chairmen of these boards—in one case a constituent of mine, the father of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith) to the Scottish Hydro-Electric Board—they have become enthusiastic about nationalisation overnight?