HC Deb 06 July 1977 vol 934 cc1224-5
3. Mr. Crawford

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will pay an official visit to Blairgowrie.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Hugh D. Brown)

My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Mr. Crawford

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that there are many pig farmers in Blairgowrie—[HON. MEMBERS: "And raspberries."] Yes, raspberries too. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, by failing to implement their White Paper "Food from Our Own Resources", the Government have betrayed the pig farmers of Blairgowrie, Perth and East Perthshire and the whole of Scotland?

Mr. Brown

The whole House is aware of the inept parliamentary performance of the SNP this week. I resent the waste of public money involved in putting down silly Questions. If the hon. Gentleman wants an answer about pigs, let him table a specific Question.

Mr. Rifkind

If the hon. Gentleman is not going to Blairgowrie, will he consider visiting the SNP headquarters in Edinburgh and asking for a copy of the canvassers' manual, which is shortly to become a collector's piece? Is he aware that, according to reports this morning, all copies of the manual are to be withdrawn and turned into pulp? Will he join other hon. Members in pressing the SNP to pulp all its policy documents, in the public interest?

Mr. Brown

There is a serious point here. I object to civil servants having to undertake research and produce all sorts of information for a supplementary question that may or may not be asked. The information from our researchers is more accurate than that of the SNP.

Mr. Younger

Will the hon. Gentle man reconsider the decision not to go to Blairgowrie? Could he not go there and try to find one leading Scottish trade unionist or industrialist who believes that separation would have a beneficial effect for Scottish jobs?

Mr. Brown

I am a bit bewildered by all this. The Opposition joined forces with the SNP on Monday, and I understand that official approaches were made by the SNP in 1974, when it was apparently quite willing to join a Tory reactionary Administration.