§ 33. Mr. Canavan
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is now able to make a statement about holding meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee in Scotland.
§ Mr. Canavan
Does the Leader of the House recall that the Scottish Grand Committee has technically been in a state of Adjournment since 9 December last year when the Committee failed to report because the Government were defeated by 40 votes to nil after a debate on their proposals to close the Scottish colleges of education? May we resume that debate in Scotland during the Easter Recess 627 and, if there is time, go on to debate the problems of the 290,000 people in Scotland who have been thrown out of work because of the Government's disastrous policies?
§ Mr. Pym
It is urgent that we consider this aspect of the handling of Scottish business. I am sorry that we have not been able to arrange a debate in the past month—the hon. Gentleman asked me a question on the subject the last time that I answered oral questions. I hope that it will be possible to do so in the reasonably near future. These matters and the points that the hon. Gentleman has raised will be relevant in that debate.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
What reason can the Minister conceivably give for the delay of one and three quarter years since the abandonment of the Scotland Bill for the consideration by the House of this mouse of a report requesting that the Scottish Grand Committee should meet more frequently? Has not the whole strategem been a cynical one on the part of the Government to waste time?
§ Mr. Dewar
Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that the official Opposition are glad to hear that there is to be an early debate, as there has been a quite unreasonably long delay in discussing the reports of the inter-party talks? He says that it is a matter of urgency. Will he give us a guarantee that we shall have the opportunity within the next couple of weeks?