HC Deb 04 August 1971 vol 822 cc1571-2
23. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why he has deferred publication of the Green Paper on Local Government Finance in Scotland until now.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

The Green Paper was published on 28th July following the Government's review of this subject and in accordance with the forecasts given in previous Parliamentary replies.

Dr. Mabon

After this long delay the right hon. Gentleman has finally produced a Green Paper which is far less comprehensive than any complaints he made when in opposition. Will he make up for the delay by ensuring that the House has an opportunity to debate the Green Paper before the end of the Session? Will he see that we have an opportunity to debate a glaring omission from the Green Paper—namely, the omission of any comment about the loss of industrial rating due to extensive closures? I am referring in particular to the way in which Clydebank, Dumbarton and other Scottish towns are being sadly affected by the loss of rating, not just for one year and at once but for several years. Do the Government intend to pay transitional grants to help to relieve this burden on these areas?

Mr. Campbell

We can discuss this matter, but when a debate will take place in Parliament is for my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to decide. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that we have a lot of business to transact before the end of the Session. I will, however, make sure that my right hon. Friend is informed of his request. I take note of the last part of his supplementary question.