HC Deb 18 March 1970 vol 798 cc391-2
40. Mr. Doig

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the discussions which the Minister of State has had with local authority associations on local government reorganisation.

Mr. Ross

At this stage I can say only that there was a very useful exchange of views.

Mr. Doig

Would my right hon. Friend say whether any of these local authorities have expressed the opinion that they should reform the financial set-up, by abolishing altogether the system of rates and supplanting that part of the account financed by local authorities by a system of 100 per cent. financing of local authorities by the Government?

Mr. Ross

My hon. Friend knows that our discussions with local authorities have been confidential.

Mr. Russell Johnston

Could the Secretary of State say whether the local authority associations said that they would like to take part in the Governments' current examination of a reformed financial structure?

Mr. Ross

No, I do not think that I should go into the discussions. We should await the White Paper.