HC Deb 08 July 1970 vol 803 cc637-8
1. Mr. Hugh D. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to improve communications between Government, local authorities and the people; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gordon Campbell)

I shall have the importance of improved communications very much in mind in directing all our work in the Scottish Office.

Mr. Brown

Having had the onus of asking the first Question of the new Scottish Administration, may I congratulate them and say that we will do our best to make their occupancy short and interesting during the lifetime of this Parliament?

Following Wheatley, would the right hon. Gentleman examine the possibility of providing secretarial and office facilities for elected representatives both local and national? Can he assure me that the local authorities will not be precluded from taking part in a commercial radio venture?

Mr. Campbell

I thank the hon. Gentleman for the spirit in which he has conveyed his congratulations. I can assure him that in all my reviews of existing systems and procedures I shall try to improve communications with local government and the people. After the last five years there is certainly plenty of room for improvement.

Mr. Ross

Was the fact that the right hon. Gentleman never consulted the local authorities about the proposed changes in respect of education his first instance of improved communications?

Mr. Campbell

It was perfectly clear what our policy was. We had consulted in opposition with the local authorities concerned. Most of the representations I received were asking whether we would carry out these undertakings as soon as we could.

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