§ 22. Mr. Douglas
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement regarding the relationship of the Scottish Economic Council to the Public Expenditure Survey.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
Although there is no direct connection, naturally any relevant views of the Scottish Economic Council are taken into account in our public expenditure decisions.
§ Mr. Douglas
Is it not a fact that the Scottish Economic Council gets sight of the "forward look" in terms of the Public Expenditure Survey? If so, what comments has the Council made about the levelling off in housing expenditure in Scotland come the mid-'seventies, which represents an utterly disgraceful state of affairs?
§ Mr. Campbell
The hon. Gentleman misunderstands the role of the Scottish Economic Council. It is not an elected but an appointed body and it has no decision-making rôle. Its proceedings are confidential, in the same way that its predecessor's proceedings were confidential when the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) was in the chair. Trends are discussed in general, but it does not have any special access to Government figures.