§ 15. Mr. MacCormick
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the final arrangements made for the referendum on 1 March.
§ Mr. MacCormick
Does the Under-Secretary of State agree that, as the "Yes" campaign in Scotland is being very successful, at the same time it would be extremely frustrating if too many people were not allowed or were unable to vote? Will he look again at the arrangements which have been made or promised for taking into account, for example, all the young people in the Highlands and Islands who will be away at university at the time of the referendum on 1 March?
§ Mr. David Steel
Will the hon. Gentleman take an interest, with a view to being helpful, in the present shambles over the broadcasting arrangements for the referendum?
§ Mr. Heffer
If my hon. Friend is to take into consideration the various anomalies which have arisen from the referendum, will he also take into consideration the anomaly of the Scots who live in England and Wales and in other parts of the United Kingdom who are not to be allowed to vote on this question, but who also have a view on the future of Scotland?
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
In the interests of fair play, will the Minister reconsider his original reply to the question? I am sure that he and his right hon. Friend will want to ensure that the referendum is conducted fairly. As the question on the ballot paper refers to "Yes" and "No" votes only, how can he be satisfied with the present broadcasting arrangements? So far we have had two party political broadcasts on the "Yes" side. Unless an arrangement is made soon, the charge must be levelled at the hon. Gentleman, his right hon. Friend and other members of the Government that the whole referendum campaign is being rigged in favour of a "Yes" vote.
§ Mr. Ewing
If the hon. Gentleman thinks that the day will ever dawn when the Tory Party has an influence on what 387 is said in a Labour Party political broadcast, he is living in could cuckoo land. The parties are responsible for what they put out on their own party political broadcasts. In the democracy in which we live, the hon. Gentleman should not want to change that situation.