HC Deb 13 February 1985 vol 73 cc331-2
6. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will have discussions with the representatives of the United Nations Association and the City of Edinburgh district council, co-partners in the project, on funding of the International Youth Year Edinburgh Gathering, 9 to 16 June.

Mr. Allan Stewart

Financial support for the Gathering has been promised from both the Scottish Tourist Board and the Scottish Sports Council. After discussion between my officials and the interested parties it is my view that these are the appropriate channels for assistance.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Will my hon. Friend encourage a substantial level of funding through those and other channels, bearing in mind that during the United Nations International Youth Year the Edinburgh Gathering will be the most significant project not only in Scotland but in Britain?

Mr. Stewart

I accept the role of the Edinburgh Gathering within the general campaign for the International Youth Year. Backed by an imaginative and well-planned publicity campaign it could be of considerable benefit in attracting tourists to Edinburgh and Scotland. In recognising that, the Scottish Tourist Board has promised financial support for the event to the extent that it will contribute up to 25 per cent. of the publicity costs incurred, subject to a maximum of £9,000.

Mr. Buchan

Does the Minister agree that the best help that the Government could give the City of Edinburgh on this project and others such as the Festival would be to call off the ridiculous proposals that they have for cutting grants, thus destroying the ability of local authorities to carry out what their constituents want them to carry out?

Mr. Stewart

The hon. Gentleman is talking absolute rubbish. The Government support the International Youth Year by grant-aiding the co-ordinating committee in Scotland and the co-ordinating committees in other countries. The Scottish co-ordinating committee, consisting mainly of young people, is doing a good job and the hon. Gentleman would be better off encouraging and praising it rather than making those silly partisan points.