HC Deb 06 July 1977 vol 934 cc1238-9
16. Mr. MacCormick

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

Mr. Gregor MacKenzie

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

Mr. MacCormick

If the Secretary of State cannot visit Dunoon in his ministerial capacity, perhaps he will do so as a tourist. If he does, will he bear in mind that the Scottish tourist industry has, in the last year or two, suffered a serious decline? In the absence of the Scotland and Wales Bill, will he take immediate steps to allow the Scottish Tourist Board to be independently represented abroad, in the hope that it can attract more tourists to Scotland?

Mr. MacKenzie

My right hon. Friend has for a long time been concerned with tourism in Scotland. The grants made to the Scottish Tourist Board and the incentives that it has given are to be commended. The interests of Scottish tourism are adequately covered in all parts of the world.

Mr. Heffer

Will my right hon. Friend take into account that some English tourists might have been put off by slogans on Scottish walls which read "English Go Home"?

Mr. MacKenzie

My hon. Friend makes that point very neatly. I am sure that he heard my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), in his important contribution to the debate on Monday, saying that that sort of nonsense and emotive stuff does no good for Scotland at all.

Mr. Fairbairn

Will the Minister take note that the village of Blackford, in Perthshire, which serves the tourist industry, will cease to serve it if the present absurd proposal of the Scottish Development Agency to make it a one-entry/exit bottleneck is carried out?

Mr. MacKenzie

My hon. Friend looks forward with keen anticipation to answering a specific Question on that subject, which is listed No. 22 on the Order Paper.