HC Deb 09 March 1972 vol 832 cc1644-5
Q2 Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has to pay an official visit to Scotland.

The Prime Minister

I expect to visit Scotland again later in the year, but no specific plans have yet been made.

Mr. Dalyell

Will the Prime Minister visit the Scottish Education Department which produced an excellent draft circular on the maximisation of primary school classes to 35, a circular which has earned the envy of the N.U.T. in England, which has been refused them? On this occasion, who is the Prime Minister backing—the Scottish Secretary or the Education Secretary?

The Prime Minister

I have always understood that Scotland takes pride in being different from South of the Border. Therefore, it is perfectly entitled to have its own arrangements and circulars.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Is my right hon. Friend aware that he will always be welcome in Scotland, most of all after another Tory tax-cutting Budget, to which we look forward? When he next comes to Scotland will he consider paying a visit to Bathgate and Linwood to discuss with the employees there the way in which their representatives, aided and abetted apparently by the representatives of management, seem anxious to reverse the success of the last Conservative Government in bringing the motor car industry to Scotland?

The Prime Minister

I have previously visited Bathgate and I am willing to go there again. The particular problems, which my hon. Friend rightly mentions, must be left to management and unions to resolve—[Interruption.] They have resolved them only after a long and painful strike which has meant great loss for those who work there, for the firm, and for our exports.

Mr. Grimond

Will the Prime Minister, as early as possible, pay a visit to the North-East and the North of Scotland, and the Isles of Orkney and Shetland, to see for himself the possibilities of oil and to discuss with local authorities the possibility for opening out, and the problems which they will have to face?

The Prime Minister

We are well aware of these problems. I have discussed them with the Scottish Council. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is also urgently examining whether special arrangements are required for those areas, so that the rapid development now going on can be handled in the most advantageous way to Scotland as a whole as well as to the East Coast.

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