HC Deb 26 May 1965 vol 713 cc585-6
8. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that the responsibility for roads in Scotland is adequately represented on the Transport Advisory Council; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport said in his statement on 8th February, he has appointed the Transport Advisory Council to assist him on transport policy matters generally. In any matter concerning the Secretary of State's responsibility for roads in Scotland he will naturally be consulted.

Mr. Galbraith

Is not this a thoroughly unsatisfactory position? I have the list of the people who compose the Minister of Transport's Advisory Council, and there is not one Scottish person on it that I can see, yet this body has been set up to co-ordinate transport. Could not the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State have seen that there was at least one Scotsman on this body?

Dr. Mabon

It is true that this is so. Nevertheless, though the advisers are, perhaps, non-Scottish, the three Ministers concerned are all Celts—two are Scots, and one is a Welshman. It is perhaps a point of grievance for English hon. Members that this is so, but I would imagine that it is better to be in the executive posts than to be advisers. On balance, I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has a point of nationalistic substance.

Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

Arising out of that reply, may we take it that this matter is under Ministerial responsibility, and that the south-east of Scotland and its transport problems will not be forgotten?

Dr. Mabon

I want to assure the right hon. Gentleman that this is a matter of great concern to my right hon. Friend and myself. I intend very shortly, on my right hon. Friend's behalf, to visit parts of the South of Scotland to review many of the problems brought to my mind by the right hon. Gentleman and several of my hon. Friends.