HC Deb 24 May 1995 vol 260 c900
17. Mr. Bill Walker

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the method available to hon. Members to obtain details of tourism-related capital projects in their constituencies which receive support from public funds. [24241]

Mr. Kynoch

Any hon. Member who wishes to obtain details of tourism-related capital projects in his or her constituency, which have received support from public funds, should contact the appropriate local enterprise company.

Mr. Walker

I thank my hon. Friend for that very unhelpful reply. Is he aware that one of the most important things that this House does is to vote Supply, and that the cornerstone of our unwritten constitution is a Member's right to ask questions and have them answered? It may therefore come as a surprise to him to know that I have been unable to get the information required. If it requires legislation, will he consider it so that hon. Members can get answers, as they are entitled to expect?

Mr. Kynoch

I think that I know what my hon. Friend is talking about. I accept that local enterprise companies in the Scottish Enterprise area have probably set a greater premium on commercial confidentiality than the Scottish tourist board before them or local enterprise companies in the highlands and islands. He might be interested to know that, while the Scottish Affairs Select Committee has made some recommendations in its report, which Ministers are considering, local enterprise companies in the Scottish Enterprise area are now advising applicants that certain details of financial assistance to individual projects may be made public in the future. I hope that that is a helpful answer to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Maclennan

Will the Minister undertake to explain the methodology that he and his colleagues, particularly the Secretary of State, have so misleadingly employed with respect to the passenger subsidy for Scottish rail services? Many people believe that the figures that have been produced for sleepers, for example, are entirely unreliable and are designed to deceive the Scottish public about the cost of those vital services.

Mr. Kynoch

That is an ingenious way of getting the question in. The hon. Gentleman can use the consultation period on the passenger service requirement to put his points forward.

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