HC Deb 04 May 1972 vol 836 cc584-5
Q3. Mr. John Smith

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Edinburgh.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. I expect to meet the Scottish Council, Development and Industry, in Edinburgh on 12,th May.

Mr. Smith

When the Prime Minister visits Edinburgh he will be going to a city which this week has seen the most triumphant elections for the Labour Party in the long history of Scotland's capital city. Will he bear in mind that they were merely the crest of a wave which swept over the whole of Scotland in the elections on Tuesday? Will he take the opportunity when in Edinburgh of apologising to the local Tories for the part his divisive policies have played in their downfall?

The Prime Minister

As there was a swing in Scotland of between 1 per cent. and 1.5 per cent. against the Labour Party, it is very difficult to understand the hon. Gentleman's question.

Mr. Edward Taylor

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that if he visits Edinburgh he will find that the people there are very relieved that despite the blatant distortions of Government policy by the Labour Party it failed to capture control of Edinburgh, which it had confidently predicted?

The Prime Minister

The people of Edinburgh made quite sure of that.

Mr. Ross

In view of what has happened, not only in Edinburgh but elsewhere in Scotland, ought not the Prime Minister to repeat the assurance which he gave that a Conservative Government would restore to local authorities full freedom of action in those areas which are rightly theirs? Bearing in mind that housing and education were part of the Government's campaign, ought he not to give that reassurance?

The Prime Minister

I am not quite certain to which point the right hon. Gentleman is referring. If he wants to discuss local government at any time I am quite prepared to do so. As he knows, a Bill will be introduced to deal with the reform of local government in Scotland.

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