HC Deb 02 May 1968 vol 763 cc1287-8
Q3. Mrs. Ewing

asked the Prime Minister on how many occasions he has made official visits to Scotland since October, 1966 on what dates; and how long his visit lasted on each occasion.

The Prime Minister

As the Answer is rather long I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mrs. Ewing

Is the Prime Minister aware that London Government is out of touch with Scotland's political climate, and that more frequent and longer visits by him would acquaint him at first hand with the rapid growth in demand for self-government in Scotland? Is he further aware that my invitation to him, previously extended, to tour Scotland as the guest of the Scottish National Party still stands?

The Prime Minister

I am most grateful to the hon. Lady. I was not quite clear until this afternoon about her attitude. I thought that she was against what she considers "London Government" or any connection between Ministers in London and the welfare of Scotland. She has repeated her invitation to me and she will be glad to know that, on my arrival at the airport on my last visit but one, I had the pleasure of being greeted by cheerful and enthusiastic supporters of hers whose only contribution to my welcome was to hold the flag of Scotland upside down.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that we regret that he cannot come to Scotland oftener and appreciate the visits he makes? But if he cannot come to Scotland oftener, can he make a pilgrimage of penance to the Scottish Grand Committee, especially during the period of Estimates, when he may consider how much the Government of Scotland needs to be modernised?

The Prime Minister

There are almost no limits to what I would do to help towards any solution of Scotland's problems, but my hon. Friend is really asking a bit much.

The following is the information:

I have visited Scotland ten times October, 1964, and five of these visits taken place since October, 1966. Three were to Her Majesty at Balmoral. The dates of the others were as follows:


26th June.




Each visit lasted about one day. I hope to pay a further visit to Scotland later this month.