HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 cc367-8
12. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what will be the future rôle of the Scottish Economic Planning Council.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

The Council has met twice under my chairmanship and, in the light of these meetings, I am now considering its future rôle. I hope to make an announcement shortly.

Mr. Brewis

If my right hon. Friend continues the Council, will he see that by its composition and the work that it does, it is a more useful body than it was under the previous Government?

Mr. Campbell

As the proceedings of the Council were confidential, under arrangements made by the previous Government, I did not know what it did until I came into office. After consultations with the members of the Council, and following my own judgment, I shall in due course be making an announcement.

Mr. Ross

The right hon. Gentleman says that he did not know what the Council did, but he was always very quick in his criticism of it in respect of the time that it sat and how long it sat. Can he say whether he discussed the recent changes in incentives with the Council?

Mr. Campbell

The whole question of what was likely to be the best combination of incentives has been discussed with the members of the Council during the course of proceedings in which I have taken part.

On the first part of the right hon. Gentleman's question, I never criticised the Council, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman to quote any reference in HANSARD, or anything that I said in public to show that I did while I was in opposition. All that I was seeking was information. The only information that I received was about the number of times the Council sat, and the length of time for which it sat.