§ Mr. Donald Dewar (Glasgow, Garscadden)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This morning, the Secretary of State for Scotland announced that he would uphold the appeal by Nirex against the refusal to grant planning permission for test boring in Caithness. As you will appreciate, this is a matter of great concern and controversy in Scotland. People are afraid that the decision will allow Nirex to go ahead with any scheme it has to build a deep depository for nuclear waste in Caithness.
In a debate last Thursday led by the Scottish Office, there was broad agreement among almost every party that contributed and among all hon. Members, whether for or against the nuclear industry, that Caithness was not a preferred option for such a scheme. In those circumstances, may I ask whether the Government have said that they will make a statement or offer an explanation about a matter that clearly will be of great interest to the people of Scotland?
§ Mr. Speaker
If the hon. Member's comments are correct, I am sure that they will have been heard by the Government Front Benchers who are responsible for these matters?
§ Mr. Wallace
The point made by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) is valid, but the Secretary of State for the Environment is ultimately responsible for Nirex and the policy which it is pursuing. Although the Secretary of State for Scotland could have denied planning permission, the Secretary of State for the Environment can clear up this matter and take away this blight from the north of Scotland if he instructs Nirex to get packing and leave Caithness.