§ 2. Mr. Crawford
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will next be meeting the Governor of the Bank of England.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Denis Healey)
I maintain close contacts with the Governor of the Bank of England, meeting him on a regular basis and also as and when circumstances require.
§ Mr. Crawford
When the Chancellor next meets the Governor of the Bank of England will he tell him that he will not for much longer be able to rely on the revenue from Scotland's natural resources 634 to prop up the ailing English pound? These resources will be used to make the Scottish pound one of the healthiest currencies in Europe and will cure our awful areas of deprivation. Is the right hon. Gentleman also aware that the remark he made recently in Scotland, that Scotland cannot stand on its own economic feet, was an affront and an insult to the people of my country?
§ Mr. Healey
I am not aware that, so far, there have been any revenues from offshore oil, although I hope they will begin with the first flows of oil from the North Sea this week.
The hon. Gentleman will be aware—and will not, I hope, dispute the fact—that Scotland has been getting a great deal more help from the United Kingdom Government than has the rest of the United Kingdom. During a worthwhile visit to Scotland last weekend I came to the conclusion that the views of the hon. Gentleman on Scotland no more represent the views of the Scottish people than do his views on the Common Market.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
Will the Chancellor note that members of the official Opposition who speak for Scotland have no desire to be associated with members of the Scottish National Party who whine constantly on Scotland's behalf and fail to represent the generous spirit of the Scottish people as members of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Healey
I shall certainly bear that in mind, as I bear in mind the recent evidence of a desire by Scotland's offshore islands, in whose waters the oil is, for separation from Scotland?
§ Mr. Ridley
In view of the strength of the Scottish economy, as described by the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford), will the Chancellor make a start by withdrawing all the heavy subsidies from England on rates and taxes in Scotland, because the English economy is obviously in a terrible state?
§ Mr. Healey
No, Sir, I shall not. With respect, the hon. Member should not be led astray by the exuberance of the Question Time atmosphere into ignoring the serious problems of urban deprivation in the Glasgow area—probems which 635 deserve, require and have obtained exceptional help from the United Kingdom Government.